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  • 02 September, 2022

  • 8 Min Read

Anti-Radiation Pills

Anti-Radiation Pills

Image Source - Freepik

Recently, as worries of a nuclear accident at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia power plant increased, the European Union made the preemptive decision to deliver 5.5 million anti-radiation pills to be given to locals.

Radiation Emergency

  • Radio-nuclear hazards: These are unintentional or unintended incidents that endanger both people and the environment.
  • Such circumstances involve exposure to radiation from a radioactive source and the need for quick action to lessen the danger.
  • Anti-radiation pills are also needed to handle such a situation.

Anti-radiation pills

  • In cases of radiation exposure, potassium iodide (KI) tablets or anti-radiation pills are known to offer some protection.
  • They include non-radioactive iodine, which can aid in preventing the thyroid gland's absorption and subsequent buildup of radioactive iodine.

How do these Pills Work?

  • Radioactive iodine spreads through the air after a radiation spill, contaminating food, water, and soil.
  • Internal irradiation, also known as internal exposure, is when radioactive iodine penetrates the body and builds up in the thyroid gland.
  • The thyroid gland cannot distinguish between radioactive and non-radioactive iodine while producing the hormones that control the body's metabolism.
  • This is how potassium iodide (KI) pills achieve "thyroid blocking."
  • KI pills ensure that non-radioactive iodine in the medication is quickly absorbed to make the thyroid "full" when taken a short time before or right after radiation exposure.
  • When the thyroid is full, it can no longer take in iodine, either stable or radioactive, for the following 24 hours.
  • However, KI medications are solely preventative and cannot reverse radiation-induced thyroid damage.
  • Thyroid cancer is highly likely to occur once radioactive iodine has been absorbed by the thyroid gland.

Is the method Fool-Proof?

  • Anti-radiation medications don't always offer complete security.
  • The amount of radioactive iodine that enters the body and how rapidly it is absorbed determine how effective KI is.
  • The pills are not suitable for everyone, as well. Those under the age of 40, are advised.

Risk involved

  • Thyroid cancer: However, KI tablets are solely preventative and cannot undo radiation-induced thyroid damage.
  • Thyroid cancer is highly likely to occur once radioactive iodine has been absorbed by the thyroid gland.

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Source: The Indian Express

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