Harrisburg, PA – As part of its annual distribution to replace expired potassium iodide, or KI tablets, the Department of Health will offer free tablets on Thursday, August 24, to Pennsylvanians who live or work within 10 miles of the state’s five nuclear power plants. Those picking up tablets will receive specific instructions on site from community health nurses on how many pills they should receive.
“Potassium iodide is an important part of emergency preparedness for residents who live or work within 10 miles of a nuclear facility in the case of an radiological emergency,” Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said. “It can help protect the thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine and is safe for pregnant women, children and infants. It’s important to remember potassium iodide should only be taken when told to do so by state health officials or the governor, and is not a substitute for evacuation in the case of an emergency at our nuclear facilities.”
KI can be taken by anyone, as long as they are not allergic to it. It is safe for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding, people on thyroid medication, children and infants. Individuals who are unsure if they should take potassium iodide should ask a health care provider.
Individuals can get KI tablets for other family members or those who are unable to get it on their own. Directions detailing when to take the tablets and how to store it are provided with the KI, and Department of Health staff will be available to assist those with questions.
School districts and employers within the 10-mile radius can make arrangements with the Department of Health to obtain their supply of tablets.
The Department of Health also has KI tablets available year-round at county and municipal health departments or state health centers for individuals who live or work near a power plant.
The state’s five nuclear facilities are closely regulated, secure and well-maintained. The facilities are: Beaver Valley Power Station; Limerick Generating Station; Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station; Susquehanna Steam Electric Station; and Three Mile Island Generating Station.
Additional information on KI tablets and nuclear power plant safety can be found on the Department of Health’s website at www.health.pa.gov or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
MEDIA CONTACT: April Hutcheson, 717-783-1787 or RA-DHPressOffice@pa.gov
KI tablets will be distributed between 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM unless otherwise noted on August 24 at the locations below. No appointments are necessary.
Beaver Valley Power Station
Limerick Generating Station
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station
Susquehanna Steam Electric Station
Three Mile Island Generating Station