After the attack on the facilities of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, memories of the Chernobyl accident in 1986 were awakened in Greece.
In Greece, the demand for iodine has increased, and pharmacists are calling for calm, according to a message on the Mega channel. “Indeed, there is some increase in demand for iodine preparations, but there is no reason to get it if nothing has happened. There is indeed a shortage, but it’s not scary, because it is a very common drug,” said pharmacist Georgios Nihas.
What is an iodine preparation and how do these pills work
Potassium iodide tablets are nothing but iodized salt found in the sea. But how do they act as a prophylactic for the body in the event of a radiation test?
According to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, they “protect the thyroid gland from internal absorption of radioactive iodine.” newsbomb.gr.
“In cases where a nuclear accident or explosion occurs, one of the very radioactive and harmful ions that are formed is iodine 131. It tends to concentrate in the thyroid gland and cause cancer. About 30% of the radiation we receive ends up in the thyroid gland through iodine, so if we take medicine with iodine very quickly after the accident, the iodine we take binds to the thyroid gland and blocks the binding of the radioactive element, which significantly reduces the likelihood of developing thyroid cancer,” explains Prof. Evangelos Manolopoulos.
This is why Belgium, along with other European countries, routinely distributes iodine tablets to anyone who lives within 10 or 15 kilometers of a nuclear power plant.
Iodine tablets, according to experts, have no side effects and are sold without a prescription, but they are very sensitive to sunlight and heat, which change their composition.