Thursday, 11 October 2007

Preparing for the worst

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Flashlight? Check. Bottles of water? Check. Batteries? Check. Potassium Iodide? Uh ... what?

Not to sound like an alarmist, but we live in a day and age when having an emergency kit isn't exactly a bad idea. As we know all too well, disaster can sometimes strike when we least expect it, causing unprecedented levels of devastation and social unrest. But still, what's the deal with the Potassium Iodide?

In the highly unlikely event that we come under some form of nuclear attack, those who survive the immediate impact may soon thereafter fall victim to the short-term and long-term effects of radiation exposure. One of the most dangerous contaminants released by a nuclear explosion is radioactive iodine, which can enter into the human body through water, food, or air. Once in the body, this radioactive element accumulates in the thyroid gland, where it can later lead to thyroid cancer.

To protect yourself and your family, keep a small supply of potassium iodide in your emergency kit to render the radioactive iodine relatively harmless to your thyroid. By saturating the thyroid gland with potassium iodide, it prevents the gland from taking in any dangerous radioactive iodine.

And in case you were wondering, potassium iodide is completely safe (it's actually nothing more than a particular kind of salt). It can be purchased at most health food stores, and is FDA approved.

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