16 March 2011


A word on iodine... after talking to a thyroid surgeon. What I didn't know is that, for various reasons (including reactors releasing radioactive iodine), thyroid cancer is the most common neoplastic sequela of nuclear explosion/accidents (Chernobyl...). You can't prevent leukemia or lymphoma, obviously. But if you give supersaturated potassium iodide (SSKI), it...supersaturates iodine receptors on the thyroid, blocking immediate uptake of radioactive isotopes. And iodine has a pretty short half-life, so those go away within...not too long. Other isotopes, though...are around much longer.
And apparently Homeland Security has stockpiles of SSKI at various undisclosed locations in the US in the case of such a disaster.
And iodized salt, in general, is a major public health advance/success of the 20th century.

Iodized salt poster! N'djamena, Chad

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