Potassium Iodide Distributed to US Military Bases in Japan

By Thessa Esclovon
March 23, 2011

As a precautionary measure, the U.S military began issuing out potassium iodide pills at four of its bases located in Japan.

The recipients of the pills, which are prescribed to prevent sickness from exposure to radiation, were informed not to take them unless they received direct orders to do so.

According to command officials, radiation had been detected, Monday afternoon, at low levels. However, the levels were not high enough to pose a threat to the health of the public.

Potassium Iodide is the only medication approved by the FDA to treat an individual contaminated by radioactive iodine. When taken at the right time and in the correct dose, it is extremely successful in reducing the risk of thyroid cancer.

As means to protect military personnel from being contaminated, the U.S. military has restricted them from entering the 50-mile radius surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The military has, also, advised the families on base to shut off all external ventilation and limit the time they spend outdoors.