Does Iodine Combat Radiation?

DETROIT (WWJ) – As authorities race to combat the threat of multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns in Japan some people are wondering how effective iodine tablets are in combating exposure to radiation?  WWJ’s Terri Lee has some answers.

Dr. Steve McGraw, an Emergency Room Physician at Providence Hospital in Southfield, says it would be worth taking an iodine tablet, but cautions:

“Potassium Iodine really only protects against damage to one gland in your body which is your thyroid gland, which is appreciably damaged by radiation, but only from radioactive iodine, which is a byproduct of the material as it goes through the nuclear process,” says McGraw. 

The real key, he says, is limiting exposure to radiation and decontaminating the environment from a distance.

As an emergency room physician himself, McGraw says he can’t help but feel for his colleagues on the other side of the world.

“To suggest that they are truly up against it is a colossal understatement and our thoughts and prayers are with all of them,” says McGraw.

  • MIke Thomason

    The wind is blowing our way isn’t it?

  • Jennifer

    Thats what Ive been hearing…Im on the west coast…

  • brian

    radiation will not come this far, government is just trying the scare tactic on people. just like scaring us with the scary oil spill, which ended up not being as bad as it was portrayed. Most of it was eatin up by the microbes in the ocean.The ocean is a tough cookie. wake up people!

    • pollytickle1

      not only has it come this far by way of the jetstream, but radiation is showing up in our food, milk, drinking water, fish and oceans, only to evaporate and rain down on us again and again. brian must own stock in BP and GE’s nuclear division (which also owns NBC, Metrocast and Universal). Please people, get up, turn off your televisions and get mad at what these multinational companies are doing for profit. because guess who is going to pay for the cleanup in bailouts and health care increases….

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