The Vermont Department of Health is reminding anyone who lives or works in the six towns within the emergency planning zone around Entergy Vermont Yankee that it is time to request new potassium iodide tablets to replace the ones that will expire soon.
The current adult doses (130 mg) of potassium iodide had an original expiration date of February 2014. Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a six-month shelf life extension for these doses, which will remain safe and effective until the end of August 2014. The 65 mg pediatric tablets distributed in 2013 have an expiration date of 2017 and do not need replacement.
One potassium iodide tablet per person is available at no cost to anyone who works or lives in Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Halifax, Marlboro and Vernon. Participation in the distribution program is voluntary.
The Health Department sent a letter in April with instructions for requesting new potassium iodide doses (http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/rad/letter.aspx). Businesses, lodging establishments, and residential care facilities within the emergency planning zone are also encouraged to request replacement tablets.
People can request the tablets by following the instructions in the mailed letter, by downloading the application form from http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/rad/KI_request.aspx, or by contacting the Health Department Brattleboro District Office at 802-257-2880 or email to AHS.VDHOLHBrattleboro@state.vt.us.
Potassium iodide should be taken only by direction of the Department of Health. It can block exposure to radioactive iodine if taken 30 minutes prior to, and up to 3 hours after, exposure to radioactive iodine. Radioactive iodine is one of the contaminants that may be released in a nuclear emergency or similar event. Exposure to radioactive iodine can increase the risk of thyroid cancer.
If you have any questions about potassium iodide, call the Brattleboro District Office at (802) 257-2880.
For more information about the potassium iodide distribution program visit: http://healthvermont.gov/enviro/rad/KI_program.aspx.
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Media Contact: Communication Office, Vermont Department of Health, 802-863-7281