In the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear catastrophe and the fear that winds could blow radiation into the west coast of North America, there has been a sudden rush on potassium iodide, which helps protect your glandular system from radiation poisoning if you’re exposed. The Japanese government is handing out this supplement in huge quantities to the survivors north of Tokyo. These “radiation pills” are being sold out everywhere. NukePills.com says they were completely sold out over the weekend. Pharmacies in California are receiving a stampede of phone calls from near-panicked residents there, reports Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/15/drug-stores-report-sudden-increase-potassium-iodide-sales /
Dr. John W. Gofman, Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology in the University of California at Berkeley, has written extensively about the effort to belittle the menace of low-level radiation. People associated with the nuclear and medical industries assert falsely, “there is no evidence that exposure to low-dose radiation causes any cancer — the risk is only theoretical,” or “the risk is utterly negligible,” or “the accidental exposures were below the safe level,” and even “there is reasonably good evidence that exposure to low-dose radiation is beneficial and lowers the cancer rate.” By any reasonable standard of scientific proof, the weight of the human evidence shows decisively that cancer is inducible by ionizing radiation even at the lowest possible dose and dose-rate — which means that the risk is never theoretical.
Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling described this process as follows: “The rays of high-energy radiation are like little bullets that shoot through the body. They tear electrons away from molecules and through subsequent reactions of the molecular ions that are formed, the molecules may be broken in two, some atoms may be torn away from them, some new molecules may be formed. The dose of 500 roentgens that usually leads to death by acute radiation sickness causes about 500,000 changed molecules to be formed in each cell. If any of the special molecules [that control the process by which the cell divides] happen to be damaged by a single little bullet of radiation from a single radioactive atom, it may be changed in such a way as to cause the cell to divide much more rapidly than the other cells. This cell may then produce a colony of rapidly dividing cells, which in the course of time would outnumber the normal cells of that type. Then the human being may die from cancer — perhaps leukemia, bone cancer, some other kind of cancer — caused by the single radioactive atom that produced the single little bullet of radiation.”
Radioactive materials, plutonium in particular, affect the deepest level of the human being — bone marrow, DNA, genetic structure, inner organs and the deepest of emotions. The message is clear. We have created a horrific heritage. – Jeremy Sherr
Potassium Iodide is a man-made chemical. It is used to prevent only one type of radiation poisoning (for radioactive iodine isotopes). It is only effective for 24 hours so taking it now is not going to help but it may just hurt. Basically it works because it closes the receptor sites to the thyroid so the nuclear fallout (heavy metals) which destroy the thyroid will not get to it.