Report: West Coast stores selling out of potassium iodide pills

NEW YORK — Following reports of additional reactor failures at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility, natural health stores in Hawaii, Oregon and California rapidly are selling out of potassium iodide (KI) pills, a potassium supplement that can help protect the thyroid gland from radiation poisoning, reported Tuesday.

This is despite assurances from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued Sunday that no U.S. state is in danger. “All the available information indicates weather conditions have taken the small releases from the Fukushima reactors out to sea away from the population,” the agency stated. “Given the thousands of miles between the two countries, Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. territories and the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity.”

The Wall Street Journal also reported that the supplier Anbex has sold out of its entire supply of 10,000 14-tablet iOSAT packages (containing 130 mg of potassium iodide) on Saturday. A message on that company’s website now reads: “Notice: As of March 14, 2011, Anbex is out of stock of iOSAT. New product expected by April 18, 2011. ... iOSAT received its approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1982, and is the only full-strength tablet for radiation blocking [that] may legally be sold in the [United States].”

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