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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Nuclear Fear Mongering"

I was watching the evening news the other night and half of the time was dedicated to hyping up fears on nuclear fallout from Japan...

This sums up my feelings exactly:

"Ughhh. Type in your zip code and see how close you are to a nuclear plant!! There’s even a red target painted on the reactor!!!  I’m primarily posting this so I have an excuse to link to this excellent article, which explains in detail what’s going on in Japan and why you shouldn’t run out to buy potassium pills and start digging a fallout shelter. I might also point out that we conducted 140+ atmospheric atomic tests in Nevada – I’m not saying that was a particularly intelligent or healthy thing to do, but let’s maintain a little perspective about fallout risks, shall we?"

(via Chart Porn)

And in case you were wondering...

Popping potassium iodide already? Really bad idea

"As demand spikes for potassium iodide in the wake of Japan’s nuclear crisis, U.S. poison control centers are starting to receive reports of illness in people who’ve ingested the drug aimed at protecting against radiation sickness.

At least seven people have reported reactions to the drug, often called by its chemical name, KI, including two who said they were suffering from serious symptoms including vomiting, racing heart and dizziness or vertigo.

That’s according to Jessica Wehrman, a spokeswoman for the American Association of Poison Control Centers, which tracks reports from 57 poison control centers nationwide.

Radiation has not been detected in the U.S., but some worried Americans are already hoarding the pills — and apparently taking them already — as a precaution. Wehrman said poison control centers have received nearly 130 queries about protection against radiation exposure and the crisis in Japan.

"He warned that the drug could cause serious reactions in some people and even backfire in the case of an actual emergency, putting people past a two-week window of safe dosage. After that period of time, the drug can induce severe hypothyroidism, a condition that essentially shuts down thyroid function.

“It is inappropriate, foolhardy and dangerous to be taking iodine supplements at this time,” Wartofsky said. “It’s very important to hold off until it’s absolutely necessary.”

Although maybe we shouldn't warn people about the dangers of KI.
If enough of them OD on the stuff, there will be plenty to go around when there's an actual threat of radiation poisoning.

So... Guess what everyone! I found a cheap supply of Potassium Iodide on Amazon!

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