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"Better to risk being a little early when securing your families essential food and supplies, rather than a few hours too late and going home empty-handed..."
This guide is for families preparing for imminent terrorist or strategic nuclear attacks
with expected blast destruction followed by widespread radioactive fallout downwind.
|IF ONLY A 'Dirty Bomb' Attack (Not the vastly more devastating nuclear weapon blasts with fallout discussed below.) - You can expect localized and downwind contamination from the explosion and dispersed radioactive materials. If you are near enough to see or hear any local bomb blast, assume that it includes radiological or chemical agents. You should move away from the blast area as quickly as possible. If the wind is blowing toward you from the direction of the blast, travel in a direction that is crosswise or perpendicular to the wind as you move away from the blast area. If possible cover your face with a dust mask or cloth to avoid inhaling potentially radioactive dust. Upon reaching a safe location, remove your outer clothing outside and shower as soon as possible. Refer to local news sources for additional instructions about sheltering or evacuation. The government is better prepared to direct and assist the public in 'dirty bomb' emergencies, unlike more serious nuclear weapon attacks below.|
In a national crisis of imminent nuclear weapon attacks, read all the way through this guide first,
THEN TAKE EFFECTIVE PROTECTIVE ACTION, BEFORE THEY STRIKE, WITH CONFIDENCE... FAST!
#1 - STAY OR GO?
You must decide FIRST if you need to prepare where you are, or attempt evacuation. The nature of the threat, your prior preparations, and your confidence in your sources of information should direct your decision. If you know already you will be preparing to stay at your own home or, at least, the immediate local area, go now to #2 below.
If you are considering evacuation, your decision requires very high confidence that it is worth the risk. You do not want to get stuck between your current location and your hoped for destination, as there will probably be no easy getting back. If you fail to get to your destination, you may be exposed without shelter, in a dangerous situation with little effective law enforcement, perhaps among panicked hordes of refugees. Whatever supplies you have may be limited then to what you can carry on foot. IF you are in a big city or near a military target, AND you have relatives or friends in the country that you know are awaiting you, AND the roads between you and them are clear, AND the authorities are not yet restricting traffic, AND you have the means and fuel, evacuation may be a viable option for a limited time. DO NOT attempt evacuation if all of the above is not clearly known, or if the situation is deteriorating too quickly to assure the complete trip. You do not want to get stuck and/or become a refugee being herded along with panicked masses. If evacuation is truly a viable option, do not wait - GO NOW! Do so with as many of the supplies listed in #7 as possible. Better to be two days too early in arriving than two hours too late and getting snagged mid-way, potentially exposing your family to a worse fate than having stayed where you were. Because of the very real danger of getting caught in an evacuation stampede that stalls, almost all families will be better off making the best of it wherever they currently are.
#2 - WHAT YOU NEED TO DO FIRST
Because time is of the essence, you need to first delegate and assign to different adult family members specific tasks so they can all be accomplished at the same time. Your first priorities to assure your family survival are Shelter, Water, and Food/Supplies. While some are working on the water storage and shelter at home, others need to be acquiring, as much as possible, the food and supplies.
#3 - FOOD/SUPPLIES
Because much of the food and supplies listed at #7 of this guide may quickly become unavailable, you need to assign someone NOW to immediately go to the stores with that list! Get cash from the bank and ATM's first, if it can be done quickly, but try and use credit cards at the stores, if at all possible, to preserve your cash.
#4 - WATER
With one or more adults now heading to the stores with the list at #7, those remaining need to begin storing water IMMEDIATELY! Lack of clean water will devastate your family much more quickly and more severely than any lack of food. Without clean water for both drinking and continued good sanitary practices in food preparation and for bathroom excursions (which could be much less sanitary than normal), debilitating sickness could rampage through your family with little hope of prompt medical attention. That is a likely but, avoidable, disaster, ONLY IF you have enough water.
Every possible container needs to be filled with water RIGHT NOW! It will be very hard to have stored too much water. When the electricity/pumps go down or everybody in your community is doing the same thing, thus dropping the water pressure, what you've got is all you might be getting for a very long time. Empty pop bottles (1-3 liter) are ideal for water storage, also filling up the bathtub and washing machine. (Remember, later you'll have some in your hot water tank.) If you have any kiddie pools or old water beds, pull them out and fill them up, too. (Water from a water bed should be used only for bathing or cleaning, not for drinking as it may contain traces of algaecide and/or fungicides.) Anything and everything that'll hold water needs to be filled up quickly RIGHT NOW!!
One of the shopping items listed at #7 is new metal garbage cans and liner bags which you'll also use for storing water. If you can't get any more new cans, you could clean out an existing garbage can and scrub it throughout with bleach, then put in a new garbage bag liner and fill it with water. Even sturdy boxes could be used with bag liners. (Use two liners if they are very thin/flimsy.) Choose well where you fill up garbage cans with water because they won't easily be moved once full and many of them together could be too heavy for some upper floor locations. Ideally, they need to be very near where your shelter will be constructed and can actually add to its shielding properties, as you'll see below. BE ASSURED, YOU CANNOT STORE AND HAVE TOO MUCH WATER! Do not hesitate, fill up every possible container, RIGHT NOW!
#5 - SHELTER
The principles of radiation protection are simple - with many options and resources families can use to prepare or improvise a very effective shelter. You must throw off any self-defeating myths of nuclear un-survivability that may needlessly paralyze and panic, and then seal the fate of, less informed families.
Radioactive fallout is the particulate matter (dust) produced by a nuclear explosion and carried high up into the air by the mushroom cloud. It drifts on the wind and most of it settles back to earth downwind of the explosion. The heaviest, most dangerous, and most noticeable fallout, will 'fall out' first closer to ground zero. It may begin arriving minutes after an explosion. The smaller and lighter dust-like particles will typically be arriving hours later, as they drift much farther downwind, often for hundreds of miles. Once it arrives, whether visible or not, all that will fall will have done so usually in under an hour, then blow around everywhere just like dust does on the ground and roofs. However, rain can concentrate the fallout into localized 'hot spots' of much more intense radiation with no visible indication.
This radioactive fallout 'dust' is dangerous because it is emitting penetrating radiation energy (similar to x-ray's). This radiation (not the fallout dust) can go right through walls, roofs and protective clothing. Even if you manage not to inhale or ingest the dust, and keep it off your skin, hair, and clothes, and even if none gets inside your house, the radiation penetrating your home is still extremely dangerous, and can injure or kill you inside.
Radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion, though very dangerous initially, loses its intensity quickly because it is giving off so much energy. For example, fallout emitting gamma ray radiation at a rate over 500 R/hr (fatal with one hour of exposure) shortly after an explosion, weakens to only 1/10th as strong 7 hours later. Two days later, it's only 1/100th as strong, or as deadly, as it was initially.
That is really very good news, because our families can readily survive it IF we get them into a proper shelter to safely wait it out as it becomes less dangerous with every passing hour.
What stops radiation, and thus shields your family, is simply putting mass between them and the radiation source. Like police body armor stopping bullets, mass stops (absorbs) radiation. The thicker and heavier the mass, the more radiation it stops, and the more effective it is with every inch more you add to your fallout shelter. The thickness in inches needed to cut the radiation down to only 1/10th of its initial intensity for different common materials is: Steel 3.3", concrete 11", earth 16", water 24", wood 38". The thickness required to stop 99% of the radiation is: 5" of steel, 16" of solid brick or hollow concrete blocks filled with mortar or sand, 2 feet of packed earth or 3 feet if loose, 3 feet of water. (BTW, lead is nothing special, same as anything else pound for pound.) You may not have enough steel available, but anything you do have will have mass and can be used to add to your shielding - it just takes more thickness of lighter wood, for example, than heavier earth, to absorb and stop the same amount of radiation. Increasing the distance between your family inside and the radiation outside also reduces the radiation intensity.
The goals of your family fallout shelter are:
While a fallout shelter can be built anywhere, you should see what your best options are at home or nearby. Many structures already provide significant shielding or partial shielding that can be enhanced for adequate protection. If you do not have a basement available, you can still use the techniques shown below in any above ground structure, you'll just need more mass to achieve the same level of shielding. You may consider using other solid structures nearby, especially those with below ground spaces, such as commercial buildings, schools, churches, below ground parking garages, large and long culverts, tunnels, etc.. Some of these may require permissions and/or the acquiring of additional materials to minimize any fallout drifting or blowing into them, if open ended. Buildings with a half-dozen or more floors, where there is not a concern of blast damage, may provide good radiation protection in the center of the middle floors. This is because of both the distance and the shielding the multiple floors provide from the fallout on the ground and roof.
Bottom Line: choose a structure nearby with both the greatest mass and distance already in place between the outside, where the fallout would settle, and the shelter inside.
| If you have a basement in your home, or at a nearby relatives' or friends' house that you can use, your best option is probably to fortify and use it, unless you have ready access to a better/deeper structure nearby. |
For an expedient last-minute basement shelter, push a heavy table that you can get under into the corner that has the soil highest on the outside. The ground level outside ideally needs to be above the top of the table shelter inside. If no heavy table is available, you can take internal doors off their hinges and lay them on supports to create your 'table'. Then pile any available mass atop and around the other two open sides such as books, wood, cordwood, bricks, sandbags, heavy appliances, full file cabinets, full water containers, your food stocks, even boxes and pillow cases full of anything heavy, like earth. Everything you can pile up and around it has mass that will help absorb and stop more radiation from penetrating inside - the heavier the better. However, be sure to reinforce your table and supports so you do not overload it and risk collapse.
Leave a small crawl-through entrance and more mass there that can be easily pulled in after you, but with a gap at the top to allow exhaust air out. Have another gap of 4-6" square low at the other end for incoming fresh air. Make bigger if crowded and/or hotter climate. A small piece of cardboard can help fan fresh air in if the natural rising warmer air convection current needs an assist moving the air along. This incoming air won't need to be filtered if the basement has been reasonably sealed up, however any windows or other openings will require some solid mass coverage to assure they stay sealed and to provide additional shielding protection for the basement. More details on this in the next (#6) section.
With more time, materials, and carpentry or masonry skills, you could even construct a more formal fallout shelter, such as the FEMA lean-to on the right, but you will need to assure structural integrity is achieved and adequate mass is utilized.
When I think of nuclear power plants, clean, safe, efficient energy isn't usually the first thing to come to mind. Firstly, I think of Chernobyl, where the world's most devastating nuclear power plant disaster happened in the Ukraine. Deadly explosions released radioactive plumes that swept over Europe and ravaged a whole city unusable.
Secondly, I think of the 1979 film, The China Syndrome (hey, I'm a Michael Douglas fan). The movie depicts a coverup at the fictitious Ventana nuclear power plant that nearly creates a catastrophic meltdown of the nuclear reactor due to a loss of coolant exposing the fuel rod assemblies.
And now, thanks to the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that left Japan in shambles, I will always think of the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Okuma. With fires and explosions threatening the nuclear reactors, fears that a meltdown could leak dangerous amounts of nuclear radiation were high and present in everyone—even in North America, where Americans are stocking up on potassium iodide tablets in fear of radiation reaching the U.S causing potential radiation sickness. But is there really anything to worry about?
Joe Cirincione told Fox News that "The worst case scenario is that the fuel rods fuse together, the temperatures get so hot that they melt together in a radioactive molten mass that bursts through the containment mechanisms and is exposed to the outside. So they spew radioactivity in the ground, into the air, into the water. Some of the radioactivity could carry in the atmosphere to the West Coast of the United States."
This is because the Fukushima plant contains a different, safer reactor than Chernobyl's graphite-moderated reactor and the Ventana's sodium-cooled reactor (based off the old experimental reactor in the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in the Simi Valley). The Fukushima plant houses boiling water reactors instead, with neutron moderators—it uses boiling water to cool the reactor.
Right now, there's no need for panic, because radiation levels are currently falling at Fukushima, where workers are finally getting the plant under control. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared in case this situation worsens—or for when the next nuclear disaster happens. There's not much you can do to completely remove radiation from your person, but there are some things that can help lessen the risk of life-threatening radiation sickness.
Most people are already attune to this step. As I stated before, Americans are stocking up on Potassium Iodide caplets as we speak (um... as you read), which acts as a blocking agent.In humans, the
FAIR USE! I didn't make this video to scare anyone, I just think that every person in modern society should know this. Everyone deserves maximum survival chances if something like this happens, and in this society, there is always a risk. No harm in preparing. Pregnant women, children and adolescents are at greatest risk.
Nuclear Fallout Survival Skills
A TEMPORARY RETURN TO SELF-HELP
Most doctors, hospital facilities, and medical supplies are located in cities. An all-out attack would destroy most of these modern blessings. Even if medical assistance were nearby, only a few of the survivors confined to shelters in areas of heavy fallout would be able to get needed medicines or the help of a doctor. For periods ranging from days to months, most unprepared survivors would be forced to live under medical conditions almost as primitive as those experienced by the majority of mankind for all but the past few decades of human history.
Life without modern medical help would be less painful and hazardous for those survivors who have some practical knowledge of what should be done or not done under primitive, unsanitary conditions. Information about first aid and hygienic precautions can be obtained from widely available Red Cross and civil defense booklets and courses. This knowledge, with a stock of basic first aid supplies, would reduce suffering and prevent many dangerous illnesses. However, first aid instructions do not include advice about what to do for serious injuries and sicknesses if no doctors or effective medicines are available.
Where There Is No Doctor,32 the excellent self- help handbook ;recommended by Volunteers in Technical Assistance, gives much information that goes far beyond the scope of first aid. But even this handbook repeatedly recommends getting professional medical help whenever possible for serious injuries and illnesses.
Fortunately, the human body has remarkable capabilities for healing itself, especially if the injured or sick person and his companions practice intelligent "benign neglect." Such purposeful non-interference with the body's recuperative processes was called "masterful inactivity" by Colonel C. Blanchard Henry, M.D., a widely recognized authority on mass casualty evacuation and treatment. Colonel Henry was one of the first medical officers to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki after their destruction and was an experienced analyzer of civil defense preparations in several countries.
The following is a brief summary of Colonel Henry's medical advice for nuclear war survivors living under primitive conditions and unable to get the help of a doctor or effective medicines.33 (Additional advice, enclosed in brackets, is from a medical publication.34)
° Wounds: Apply only pressure dressings to stop bleeding unless an artery has been cut, as by a blast- hurled piece of glass. If blood is spurting from a wound, apply both a pressure dressing and a windlass-type tourniquet. Loosen the tourniquet pressure about every 15 minutes, to allow enough blood to reach the flesh beyond the tourniquet and keep it alive. There is a fair chance that clotting under the pressure dressing will stop blood loss before it becomes fatal.
° Infected wounds: Do not change dressings frequently. The formation of white pus shows that white corpuscles are mobilizing to combat the infection. In World War I, wounded soldiers in hospitals suffered agonies having their wounds cleaned and dressed frequently: many died as a result of such harmful care. In contrast, before antibiotics became available late in World War II, casts and dressings on infected wounds sometimes were not changed for weeks. (The author saw this treatment in China and India and smelled the stench resulting from such "benign neglect" of American soldiers' wounds--- neglect that helped save limbs and lives.)
Book Page: 109
° Pieces of glass deeply embedded in flesh: Do not probe with tweezers or a knife in an attempt to extract them. Most glass will come out when the wounds discharge pus.
° Burns: Do not apply grease, oil or any other medicine to the burned area. Cover the area securely with a clean, dry dressing or folded cloth. Do not change the dressing frequently. [For most burns, the bandage need not be removed until the tenth to fourteenth day. Give plenty of slightly salted water: about 1 teaspoon (4.5 gm) of salt per quart (or liter), preferably chilled, in amounts of 1 to 3 liters daily. 4]
° Broken bones: Apply simple splints to keep the bones from moving. Do not worry about deformities: most can be corrected later by a doctor. Do not attempt traction setting of broken bones.
° Shock: Keep the victim warm. Place blankets or other insulation material under him. Do not cover him with so many blankets that he sweats and suffers harmful fluid losses. Give him plenty of slightly salted water [about a teaspoon of salt in a liter (or quart) of water].
° Heat prostration: Give adequate fluids, including slightly salty water.
° Simple childbirth: Keep hands off. Wait until the mother has given birth. Do not tie and cut the cord unless a potent disinfectant is available. Instead, use the primitive practice of wrapping the cord and the placenta around the infant until they dry. Avoid the risk of infecting the mother by removing the rest of the afterbirth: urge the mother to work to expel it.
° Toothache: Do not attempt to pull an aching tooth. Decaying teeth will abscess and fall out. This is a painful but seldom fatal process- --one which was endured by most of our remote ancestors who reached maturity.
People who for decades have used antibiotics to combat their infections have not produced normal quantities of antibodies, and have subnormal resistance to many infections. People who have not been dependent on antibiotics have these antibodies. In the aftermath of a massive nuclear attack, most surviving Americans would be in rural areas: many would need antibiotics. A large part of their need could be met by the supplies of veterinarian antibiotics kept on livestock and chicken farms, at feed mills, and in small towns. Many animals are given more antibiotics in their short lives than most Americans receive in theirs. Hogs, for example, are given antibiotics and or other disease-controlling medicines in their feed each day. In many farming areas, veterinary antibiotics and other medicines are in larger supply than are those for people. Realistic preparations to survive an all-out attack should include utilizing these supplies.
For the vast majority of Americans who would receive radiation doses from a massive attack, the help of doctors, antibiotics, blood transfusions, etc., would not be of life-or-death importance. Very few of those receiving acute doses (received within 24 hours) of less than 100 R would become sick, even briefly. All of those exposed to acute doses between 100 Rand 200 R should recover from radiation effects.6 However, under post-attack conditions of multiple stresses and privations, some who receive acute radiation doses of 100 R to 200 R may die of infectious diseases because of their reduced resistance. If total doses this size or even several times larger are received over a period of a few months in small doses of around 6 R per day, no incapacitating symptoms should result. The human body usually can repair almost all radiation damage if the daily doses are not too large.
The majority of those with acute doses of less than about 350 R will recover without medical treatment. Almost all of those receiving acute doses of over 600 R would die within a few weeks, even if they were to receive treatment in a typical hospital during peacetime. If all doctors and the equipment and drugs needed for heroic treatments magically were to survive an attack and persons suffering from radiation sickness could reach them relatively few additional lives could be saved.
The most effective way to reduce losses of health and life from radiation sickness is to prevent excessive exposure to radiation. Adequate shelter and essential life-support items are the best means of saving lives in a nuclear war. The following information on radiation sickness is given to help the reader understand the importance of building a good shelter and to help him distinguish between symptoms of common illnesses and first symptoms of radiation sickness.
Book Page: 110
The first symptoms of radiation sickness are nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and a general feeling of illness.6 These symptoms begin several hours after exposure to acute doses of 100 R to 200 R. and within 30 minutes or less after receiving a fatal dose. A source of probable confusion is the fact that one or more of these symptoms is experienced by many people when they are first exposed to great danger, as in an air raid shelter during a conventional bombardment.
The occupants of a shelter might worry unnecessarily for weeks, mistaking their early emotional reactions for the initial phase of radiation sickness. This would be particularly true if they had no dependable instrument for measuring radiation, or if none of them knew how to use such an instrument.
The initial symptoms end within a day or two. Then follows the latent phase of radiation sickness, during which the patient experiences few, if any, symptoms. If the dose received was in the non-fatal range. the latent phase may last as long as 2 weeks.
In the final phase, the victim of serious or fatal radiation sickness will have reduced resistance to infections and is likely to suffer diarrhea, loss of hair, and small hemorrhages of the skin, mouth, and; or intestinal tract. Diarrhea from common causes may be confused with the onset of radiation sickness, but hemorrhages and loss of much hair are clear indications of having received serious, but not necessarily fatal, radiation exposure. The final phase usually lasts for one to two months. Any available antibiotics should be reserved for this critical phase of the illness.
Doses of 1000 R to 5000 R result in bloody diarrhea, fever, and blood circulation abnormalities, with the initial symptoms beginning within less than 30 minutes after exposure and the final phase occurring less than a day thereafter. Death results within 2 to 14 days. The victim of a dose of over 5000 R dies a hard death within 48 hours, due to radiation damage to the central nervous system.
Recovery from most cases of radiation sickness will be more likely for patients who receive a well balanced diet, rest, freedom from stress, and clean surroundings. But most patients, even without these advantages, will survive -as proved by the survival of thousands of Hiroshima and Nagasaki citizens who suffered serious radiation sickness. Nursing radiation victims is not hazardous. Even persons dying from a dose of 5000 Rare not sources of dangerous radiation by wartime standards, and radiation sickness is not contagious.
LIFETIME RISKS FROM RADIATIONThe large radiation doses that many survivors of a nuclear attack would receive would result in serious long-term risks of death from cancer, but the lifetime risks from even large wartime radiation doses are not as bad as many people believe. Significantly, no official U.S. estimates have been made available to the public regarding excess cancer deaths to be expected if America is subjected to a nuclear attack. However, reliable statistics are available on the numbers of additional fatal cancers suffered by persons who received large whole-body radiation doses at Hiroshima and in other disasters, and who lived for months to decades before dying. Dr. John N. Auxier -who for years was a leading health physicist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was one of the American scientists working in Japan with Japanese scientists studying the Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors, and currently is working on radiation problems with International Technology Corporation-in 1986 summarized for me the risk of excess fatal cancers from large whole-body radiation doses: "If 1,000 people each receive a whole-body radiation dose of 100 rems [or 100 rads, or 100 R], about 10 additional fatal cancers will result." These 10 fatal cancers will be in addition to about 150 fatal cancers that normally will develop among these 1,000 people during their lifetimes. This risk is proportional to large doses; thus, if 1,000 people each receive a dose of 200 rems, about 20
PREVENTION OF THYROID DAMAGE FROM RADIOACTIVE IODINES
PREVENTION OF THYROID DAMAGE FROM RADIOACTIVE IODINES
There is no medicine that will effectively prevent nuclear radiations from damaging the human body cells that they strike. However, a salt of the elements potassium and iodine, taken orally even in very small quantities 1/2 hour to 1 day before radioactive iodines are swallowed or inhaled, prevents about 99% of the damage to the thyroid gland that otherwise would result. The thyroid gland readily absorbs both non-radioactive and radioactive iodine, and normally it retains much of this element in either or both forms. When ordinary, non-radioactive iodine is made available in the blood for absorption by the thyroid gland before any radioactive iodine is made available, the gland will absorb and retain so much that it becomes saturated with non-radioactive iodine. When saturated, the thyroid can absorb only about l% as much additional iodine, including radioactive forms that later may become available in the blood: then it is said to be blocked. (Excess iodine in the blood is rapidly eliminated by the action of the kidneys.)
An excess of ordinary iodine retained in the thyroid gland is harmless, but quite small amounts of radioactive iodine retained in the thyroid eventually will give such a large radiation dose to thyroid cells that abnormalities are likely to result. These would include loss of thyroid function, nodules in the thyroid, or thyroid cancer. Sixty-four Marshall Islanders on Rongelap Atoll were accidentally exposed to radioactive fallout produced by a large H-bomb test explosion on Bikini Atoll, about 100 miles away. Twenty-two of them developed thyroid abnormalities beginning nine years later.6 In the two days before they were taken out of the fallout area, these completely uninformed natives, living essentially outdoors, had received estimated whole- body gamma-ray doses of about 175 R from the fallout all around them. They absorbed most of the radioactive iodine retained by their thyroid glands as a result of eating and drinking fallout-contaminated food and water during their two days of exposure. (Because of unusual environmental conditions at the time of fallout deposition, some of the retained radioactive iodine may have come from the air they breathed.)
An extremely small and inexpensive daily dose of the preferred non-radioactive potassium salt, potassium iodide (KI), if taken 1/2 hour to 1 day before exposure to radioactive iodine, will reduce later absorption of radioactive iodine by the thyroid to only about 1% of what the absorption would be without this preventive measure. Extensive experimentation and study have led to the Federal Drug Administration's approval of 130-milligram (130- mg) tablets for this preventive (prophylactic) use only.36,37 A 130-mg dose provides the same daily amount of iodine as does each tablet that English authorities for years have placed in the hands of the police near nuclear power plants, for distribution to the surrounding population in the very unlikely event of a major nuclear accident. It is quite likely that a similar-sized dose is in the Russian "individual, standard first-aid packet." According to a comprehensive Soviet 1969 civil defense handbook,38 this first-aid packet contains "anti-radiation tablets and anti-vomiting tablets (potassium iodide and etaperain)."
° Prophylactic use of potassium iodide in peacetime nuclear accidents.
When the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident was worsening and it appeared that the reactor's containment structure might rupture and release dangerous amounts of radioactive iodines and other radioactive material into the atmosphere, the Government rushed preparation of small bottles of a saturated solution of potassium iodide. The reactor's containment structure did not rupture.
Book Page: 112
Book Page: 112
The 237,013 bottles of saturated KI solution that were delivered to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-mostly too late to have been effective if the Three Mile Island accident had become an uncontained meltdown -were stored in secret in a warehouse, and were never used.
Since this famous 1979 accident, that injured no one, the Governors of the 50 states have been given the responsibility for protecting Americans against radioiodines by providing prophylactic potassium iodide. By May of 1986, only in Tennessee have Americans, other than some specialists, been given potassium iodide tablets; around one nuclear reactor some 7,500 residents have been given the officially approved KI tablets, to assure their having this protection if a nuclear accident occurs.
In April of 1982 the Bureau of Radiological Health and Bureau of Drugs, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services released "FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS, Potassium Iodide As A Thyroid- Blocking Agent In A Radiation Emergency: Recommendations On Use". These lengthy recommendations are summarized in the FDA's "mandated patient product insert". (See a complete copy in the following section.) This insert is packed with every bottle of non-prescription KI tablets sold. However, the lengthy FDA recommendations contain many facts not mentioned in this required insert, including the following: "Based on the FDA adverse reaction reports and an estimated 48 x 106 [48 million] 300-mg doses of potassium iodide administered each year [in the United States], the NCRP [National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements] estimated an adverse reaction rate of from 1 in a million to 1 in 10 million doses." (Note that this extremely low adverse reaction rate is for doses over twice as large as the 130-mg prophylactic dose.)
USE OF 130-MG SCORED TABLETS OF POTASSIUM IODIDE FOR THYROID BLOCKING
USE OF 130-MG SCORED TABLETS OF POTASSIUM IODIDE FOR THYROID BLOCKING
(Potassium Iodide Tablets, U.S.P.)
(Pronounced poe-TASS-e-um EYE-oh-dyed)
TAKE POTASSIUM IODIDE ONLY WHEN PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS TELL YOU. IN A RADIATION EMERGENCY, RADIOACTIVE IODINE COULD BE RELEASED INTO THE AIR. POTASSIUM IODIDE (A FORM OF IODINE) CAN HELP PROTECT YOU.
IF YOU ARE TOLD TO TAKE THIS MEDICINE, TAKE IT ONE TIME EVERY 24 HOURS. DO NOT TAKE IT MORE OFTEN. MORE WILL NOT HELP YOU AND MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF SIDE EFFECTS. DO NOT TAKE THIS DRUG IF YOU KNOW YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO IODINE (SEE SIDE EFFECTS BELOW).
THYROID BLOCKING IN A RADIATION EMERGENCY ONLY
DIRECTIONS FOR USE
DIRECTIONS FOR USE
Use only as directed by State or local public health authorities in the event of a radiation emergency.
ADULTS AND CHILDREN ONE YEAR OF AGE OR
OLDER: One (1) tablet once a day. Crush for small children.
BABIES UNDER ONE YEAR OF AGE: One-half (1/2) tablet once a day. Crush first.
DOSAGE: Take for 10 days unless directed otherwise by State or local public health authorities.
Store at controlled room temperature between 150 and 300C (59 degrees to 86 degrees F). Keep bottle tightly closed and protect from light.
POTASSIUM IODIDE SHOULD NOT BE USED BY PEOPLE ALLERGIC TO IODIDE. Keep out of the reach of children. In case of overdose or allergic reaction, contact a physician or public health authority.
Each iOSAT™ Tablet contains 130 mg. of potassium iodide.
HOW POTASSIUM IODIDE WORKS
HOW POTASSIUM IODIDE WORKS
Certain forms of iodine help your thyroid gland work right. Most people get the iodine they need from foods like iodized salt or fish. The thyroid can "store" or hold only a certain amount of iodine.
In a radiation emergency, radioactive iodine may be released in the air. This material may be breathed or swallowed. It may enter the thyroid gland and damage it. The damage would probably not show itself for years. Children are most likely to have thyroid damage.If you take potassium iodide, it will fill up your thyroid gland. This reduces the chance that
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