County cautions against taking potassium iodide pills

County and state public health officials issued a press release Thursday saying people should not take potassium iodide (KI) tablets at this time.

The release noted that the Nuclear Regulatory Agency stated that "Japan’s nuclear emergency presents no danger to California or the rest of the United States."

Officials are monitoring reports coming from Japan and paying attention to "any possible impact on our region and the rest of the country," according to the releas.

“Potassium iodide is used to protect the body from one specific type of radioactive material known as radioiodine,” Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., County Deputy Public Health Officer, said in the release. “Potassium iodide should only be used in cases of exposure to significant amounts of radioiodine.”

Local officials are gathering information from agencies including the: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the California Emergency Management Agency, and the California Department of Public Health.

Here are some sources of information for disaster planning and concerns related to the nuclear emergency in Japan:

• emergency supply kit list and other life-saving information at


• Public health concerns related to the nuclear emergency in Japan, the California Department of Public Health has staffed an information line at (916) 341-3947 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday. Other sources of information include:

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636), Seven days a week, 24 hours a day;


• 211 (Local Information Line)

• U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

• California Emergency Management Agency:

• San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station:

• Environmental Protection Agency’s RadNet program:



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