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County Supports National and State Recommendation of Not Using Potassium Iodide

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March 17, 2011

The California Department of Public Health and County Public Health officials are advising the public that potassium iodide (KI) tablets are not recommended at this time.

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Japan’s nuclear emergency presents no danger to California or the rest of the United States.

The County of San Diego is working closely with national and state officials to monitor the situation in Japan and any possible impact on our region and the rest of the country.

“Potassium iodide is used to protect the body from one specific type of radioactive material known as radioiodine,” said Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., County Deputy Public Health Officer. “Potassium iodide should only be used in cases of exposure to significant amounts of radioiodine.”

County Health Officials will continue to work with the federal and state government to monitor the situation and provide information to the public as needed.

Agencies providing information to the San Diego region include: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the California Emergency Management Agency, and the California Department of Public Health.

The situation in Japan is an important reminder to be prepared for any disaster. Residents can get information including a family disaster plan, emergency supply kit list and other life-saving information at

For more information about public health concerns related to the nuclear emergency in Japan, the California Department of Public Health has staffed an information line at (916) 341-3947 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday. Other sources of information include:


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