Health officials to continue KI distribution next week in Kure Beach

Health officials to continue KI distribution next week in Kure Beach Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 12 November 2014 05:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH  - New Hanover County public health officials will began distribution of potassium iodide tablets to residents located with the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) of the Brunswick Nuclear Power Plant on November 6th. 
The distribution took place at Carolina Beach Town Hall (1121 N. Lake Park Blvd., Carolina Beach, NC 28428) from 3pm to 7pm. 
If you were unable to pickup your pills on November 6th, residents can still pick up KI tablets from the New Hanover County Health Department’s Public Health Clinic during normal business hours throughout the year.  For more information visit www.nhcgov.com

The next distribution of the new KI tablets will be held Monday, Nov. 17, at the Kure Beach Town Hall, located at 117 Settlers Lane, in Kure Beach, from 3 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

Residents are reminded that following this special distribution event, the health department will continue to make KI available at no charge to EPZ residents at the health department during normal business hours.

The most recent distribution of KI to EPZ residents occurred in 2010.  Expired KI tablets can be disposed of by crushing and discarding with household garbage.

For more information about KI distribution in New Hanover County, please contact New Hanover County Public Health at (910) 798-6500.

Potassium iodide (often called by its chemical symbol KI) is an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that can protect one gland in the body – the thyroid – if a person is exposed to radioactive iodine released during a nuclear power plant emergency.  If taken within the appropriate time and at the appropriate dose, KI blocks the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine.  Taking KI in such an event reduces the risk of thyroid cancer.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that KI is safe for most people. The American Academy of Pediatrics has determined that children are much more vulnerable to the harmful effects of radioactive iodine than adults and are more likely to develop thyroid cancer following exposure.  Parents who are not sure whether their children can take KI should consult their health care providers. The New Hanover County Health Department began distributing potassium iodide to residents and schools within the 10-mile EPZ in 2002.  KI is provided to the state free of charge by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
While considered safe for most people, KI can cause minor side effects such as gastrointestinal disturbances and rashes. Individuals who are allergic to iodine should not take KI.  People with a couple of rare disorders – dermatitis herpetiformis and hypocomplementemic vasculitis – should not take KI.
The best advice for protecting the public health in a nuclear power plant emergency is to evacuate the area in a safe and orderly way.  KI is an additional safety measure; it is not a substitute for evacuation.

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