South Carolina officials are distributing 1.2 million adult doses of potassium iodide (KI) to residents living within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone surrounding nuclear power plants in or adjacent to the state, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.
“Potassium iodide provides additional protection for the thyroid gland against one form of radiation,” said DHEC Director Catherine Templeton. “It is critical to remember this is not a magic pill that protects against all types of radiation.”
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has provided the doses to the state. Supplies of the tablets, also referred to as KI tablets, will be available at health departments in 13 counties for residents living within a 10-mile radius of nuclear power plants. Residents can pick up tablets for themselves and their families beginning this week and participation is voluntary.
The expiration date for the new tablets is October 2017. Residents in possession of tablets with the May 2013 expiration date may dispose of those tablets once a new supply has been picked up.
Several distribution sites are in the vicinity of Georgia’s Plant Vogtle, which lies just across the river from South Carolina.
Aiken County Health Department, 222 Beaufort Street NE, Aiken, S.C.; (803) 642-1687.
Allendale County Health Department, 571 Memorial Ave. North, Allendale, S.C.; (803) 584-3818.
Barnwell County Health Department, 11015 Ellenton Street, Barnwell, S.C.;(803) 541-1061.
For additional information about KI, call a DHEC county public health department or DHEC’s Nuclear Response and Emergency Environmental Surveillance Section at 1-800-476-9677.