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Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Pittsboro, NC - The Chatham County Public Health Department will be mailing out a new supply of Potassium Iodide (KI) tablets for people within the 10-mile radius of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant within the next two weeks. This distribution is part of a shared preparedness planning effort by Chatham, Harnett, Lee, and Wake counties. This supply will replace any expired KI tablets that residents may have or for residents that did not receive tablets in the last distribution.
Potassium Iodide (KI) is an over-the-counter medication that can protect one gland in the body, the thyroid, in the event of a nuclear plant emergency.. The FDA has determined that KI is a safe and effective method of blocking exposure to radioactive iodine if taken within the correct time and at the right dosage. Radioactive iodine has been known to increase the risk of thyroid cancer especially in children. KI will only block the absorption of radioactive iodine and it does not replace evacuating or taking shelter. Individuals should not take KI unless they are directed to do so by public health officials.
Potassium iodide is safe for most people. Individuals who are allergic to iodine or have rare disorders such as dermatitis herpetiformis and hypocomplementemic vasculitis, which cause sensitivity to KI, should not take KI pills.
The KI doses are provided to the state of North Carolina by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission and distributed by counties to residents living with the 10- mile Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant at no cost. KI tablets should be kept at room temperature in a dry location. If more KI tablets are needed, individuals should contact Chatham County Public Health Department at 919.542.8220.
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