News Release: January 30, 2014
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON –The Vermont Department of Health distributes potassium iodide – also known as KI – to anyone who lives or works in the six towns within the emergency planning zone around Vermont Yankee nuclear power station. The current adult tablets (130 mg) have a February 2014 expiration date.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a six-month shelf life extension for the adult tablets that expire in February. The tablets will remain safe and effective until at least the end of August 2014. The 65 mg pediatric tablets distributed in 2013 have an expiration date of 2017.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is replacing the adult tablets and they are scheduled to arrive in April. When the new supply of KI arrives, the Health Department will inform people in the emergency planning zone. The tablets will be made available at no cost to anyone who works or lives in Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Halifax, Marlboro and Vernon. The distribution program provides one tablet per person, and participation is voluntary.
Potassium iodide (KI) is a drug that, taken in an appropriate and timely dosage, can block exposure to radioactive iodine – one of the contaminants that could be released in a nuclear emergency. KI should be taken only in such an emergency, and only at the direction of Health Department officials. There is no substitute for following emergency instructions such as evacuation. Taking KI 30 minutes before, or up to three hours after, exposure to radioactive iodine can help prevent thyroid cancer, especially in children.
If you have any questions about potassium iodide, call the Health Department’s Brattleboro District Office at (802) 257-2880.
For more information about the potassium iodide distribution program visit: http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/rad/KI_program.aspx.
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