POTTSTOWN PA – Free potassium iodide or “KI” tablets labeled with expiration dates of 2015, which were intended help protect the human thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine that may be dispersed during radiological emergencies such as an incident at a nuclear power plant, are being replaced in a program announced Monday (Feb. 13, 2017) by the Montgomery County Health Department.
The outdated tablets were distributed in earlier years with the approval of the Pennsylvania Department of
Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to a county press release. Now the preventative medication has been deemed no longer effective and must be replaced, it indicated.
Free tablets are given to county residents who live, work, or attend schools within a 10-mile radius of the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant. They can be picked up any weekday ( Monday through Friday) from 4-8 p.m. at the county’s health center in Pottstown, 364 King St. Residents can also call the center at 610-970-5040 at any time to inquire about the tablets, according to the release.
Adults and children, each receive a two-day supply of tablets. Directions detailing when and how to take the tablets, as well as instructions for proper storage, are provided. Individuals can pick up tablets for other families unable to pick them up on their own. To expedite the process, county residents can complete a form for the purpose online and bring it with them.
When taken as directed, potassium iodide can help protect the thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine during radiological emergencies. Individuals should take as long as they are not allergic to it, and only when told to do so by state health officials or the governor. It is safe for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding, people on thyroid medicine, children, and infants.
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