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Tags Current Affairs

Potassium Iodide pills

Date: 17 March 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous


The demand for potassium iodide pills have grown suddenly as the war in Ukraine has picked pace.



  • The reason for increase in potassium iodide is radioactive fallout from accidental or intentional attacks on Ukraine's nuclear plants.

  • The nuclear fallout incident can release radioactive iodine in the atmosphere, which can be absorbed by lungs or the thyroid glands.


Role of potassium iodide

  • The Potassium Iodide (KI) contains a salt of stable iodine that can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland.

  • This will prevent thyroid gland from radioactive injury. Thyroid glands produce many hormones for body and its damage can even lead to cancer.


Working of Potassium Iodide

  • Thyroid gland absorbs both stable and radioactive iodine as it cannot differentiate. Potassium iodide will block radioactive iodine from entering the thyroid.  

  • The medicine contains so much iodine that thyroid gland cannot absorb any more iodine for the next 24 hours.


Consumption of pill

  • The pill has to be taken only when there is an actual risk of imminent exposure to radiation.       

  • Over use or stronger dose does not offer more protection and can cause severe illness or death.


Rise in prices

  • Since the escalation of war, panic buying is taking place in Europe. New stock has been delivered with increased prices.

  • There is 100 time rise in demand for the tablets in Finland since the war. Citizens are stocking the medicine in Belgium as precaution.

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