Department of Health cancels potassium iodide pill distribution, asks residents near nuclear plants to request them

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HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health will change the way the department distributes free potassium iodide, or KI, tablets to those who reside or work within 10 miles of the state’s five nuclear power plants in a different way because of COVID-19.

Due to continued COVID-19 mitigation the department has canceled all KI pill distribution events. Instead, those requesting tablets are asked to call the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH or at county and municipal health departments or state health centers.

The KI tablets help protect thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine. The Department of Health says it is safe for anyone to take as long as they are not allergic to it.

“It’s important to remember potassium iodide should only be taken when instructed to by state health officials or the governor, and it is not a substitute for evacuation in the case of a radiological emergency at one of Pennsylvania’s nuclear facilities,” Dr. Rachel Levine said in a statement.

Information sheets explaining how to take the tablets and when to take them will be provided with each supply.

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 near Berwick and recently closed Three Mile Island Generating Station.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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