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· Ready for Doomsday!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone here stock Potassium Iodate (Ki03)?

In the event of a nuclear power plant leak or "dirty bomb" attack, radiation could be an issue. Very small amounts of inhaled or ingested Radioactive Iodine can do serious damage because it will always be absorbed and held in the thyroid gland. Eventually, by absorbing a large amount of radiation in the thyroid, abnormalities are likely to result, such as nodules in the thyroid, loss of thyroid function, or thyroid cancer.

Taking Potassium Iodate (KiO3) in the event of fallout will saturate a person's thyroid gland with stable ("good") iodine, so the Radioactive Iodine cannot be absorbed by the thyroid. Because the thyroid is saturated with the "good" Iodine, then any Radioactive Iodine that is later inhaled or ingested is quickly eliminated by the body.

Several factors make where I live a possible place where radioactive contamination might occur. I'm thinking about picking up some just to be on the safe side. Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it... ;)

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I work with radiation for a living and there is much misunderstanding about the affects of radiation on the body.

The short answer is that radiation uptake to the thyroid should be the least of your concerns regarding nuclear detonations/accidents/dirty bombs. If there is enough radiation in your environment to cause thyroid problems, you probably aren't going to survive, regardless of what happens to your thyroid. Selling "anti-radiation" pills and whatnot is a great way to exploit people who don't understand radiation well.

Radiation is a very poor carcinogen. You have a much higher chance of developing cancer from ingested/inhaled chemicals than radiation exposure. If you ingest/inhale enough radioactive particles to damage your thyroid, think about the damage that has already been done to your lungs or GI tract since the radioactive particles will enter the tissues there first.

Stock up on the Potassium Iodate if it makes you feel better but it is highly unlikely that just the perfect set of circumstances will occur where you will derive any benefit from it.

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696 Posts
If you are the 'Queasy' type, maybe you shouldn't read this post, just skip over it.
Some of this is pretty hard to deal with and it's better NOT to have this stuck in your head...


I'm a former military NBC (Nuclear, Chemical, Biological) training officer.

The dangers in radiation aren't what you think...

Once EXPOSED, there isn't much that will save you.

You will need to be taking doses of KI PROPHYLACTICALLY to keep the damage to a minimum in the initial exposure.

Since KI is a Iodine, you CAN NOT take it Prophylactically or it will kill your thyroid.

IF KI IS NOT IN YOUR SYSTEM when you get exposed, there isn't much that will help you...

KI is for people in the general area, or down wind, or workers that will have to work in or clean up the mess afterwards,
that will be exposed, but didn't get in the direct blast area, or didn't ingest any of the radioactive particles.

KI will just help you resist the background radiation from light fallout on the ground... WHILE YOU HAVE YOUR GAS MASK ON!

How radiation effects your body...

Smaller doses will damage the nucleus of the cells, and it can't reproduce, or it reproduces in a way that doesn't serve it's primary function,
So you die very slowly, usually of infection since bone marrow can't reproduce blood cells, white or red.

Slightly larger doses, or ingested doses in food or drink will kill off the bacteria in your gut, so you can't break down food for digestion.
You will slowly starve to death if the intestine doesn't rupture and cause a massive infection that kills you.

Most of the damage will be to cellular DNA, the radiation simply damages the cells until they are no longer able to repair themselves when bacteria or other infections attack.

Slightly larger exposure and you will find the cellular membranes starting to break down, the cellular material will simply liquefy and become acidic or infected.

No replacment/replication of mitochondria content, no feeding the cell or getting rid of it's waste products, and it dies, but it literally starves to death.

As the effected cells rupture, their waste product will cause massive infections in the surrounding healthy tissue (if there is any) so the infection MUST be treated or drained...

Yup, that means popping those blisters and letting the pus drain out, but keep them CLEAN,
you don't have an immune system at this point, so you should be hyper vigilant of infection sources.

If you survive the dose, you WILL be permanently damaged.

Dermis layers ('Skin') scars will be the least of your worries...

Organs that process contaminants will be the primary concern, since they are getting the largest doses.
Liver, kidneys, intestines will all suffer the worst.

Even relatively small does can cause cancers later in life by damaging the DNA in the cells.

Simply destroying the protine string that turns 'OFF' the cell's reproduction will eventually cause cancer...

Clusters of these cells that aren't aggressive are called 'Benign Tumors', they just don't know quite what they are supposed to be doing, and can't stop reproducing...
So you wind up with 'Tumors' made of these cells that are malfunctioning, but can't stop reproducing.

Run away cell growth will eventually produce a 'Cancerous' variation of it's self, it's inevatible.
Sooner or later there WILL be a 'Malignant' vairation show up...
If it has runaway reproduction, we call that 'Malignant' or 'Cancer'.

Most radiation cancers & growths are in places that get direct exposure to the radiation,
The lungs, digestive tracts, kidneys, liver from direct contact with radioactive particles inhaled, drank, or eaten and since these organs have the least resistance to radiation.
(other than your thyroid, which is of little concern at this point)

Skin is always vulnerable since it's your first line of defense.
Even 'Benign' tumors should be removed when found since they contain the 'Always On' gene and can later produce that one mutant cell that starts a malignant tumor!

Some preventatives you might not have thought of,

Prussian Blue.

Any milk with the fat content still in it, but Cows milk in particular, will help remove particles from your digestive tract, liver and will help remove the heavy meal buildup that will happen after a human is exposed, particularly to Gamma radiation.

Gator Aid.
Gator Aid or other mineral & electrolyte replacing drinks will help you flush the kidneys and urinary tract without inducing water intoxication or salt/potassium depletion.

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696 Posts
Do you know any better preventative measures which may be taken to reduce radiation damage? If I were to wear a dust mask would this filter the particles at all?
ANY FILTER will be better than NO FILTER!

Remember, when it comes to fallout, either you have a filter, or YOU ARE the filter!

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23 Posts
There are three types of radiation and forget everything you've heard on sci-fi shows. There is alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. Alpha radiation is basically a helium nucleus with no electrons: two protons and two neutrons. They are very damaging but have virtually no penetrative power; they are stopped by a sheet of notebook paper. They cannot even penetrate the layers of dead skin on the exterior of your body and are not a problem when they are outside your body. The problem is when they are inside your body, like when you breathe them in. Once inside your body, however, they can be quite the problem since their radiation is being stopped by living tissue. This, along with the chemical carcinogens, are why cigarettes are so damaging to your lungs. The contents of your average cigarette contain alpha particles. Those alpha particles enter your lungs with the smoke and then sit there in your lungs, radiating your lungs. Nice, huh?

Beta radiation is nothing more than highly energetic electrons (or positrons) emitted from a molecule's nucleus. They do not usually have the destructive potential of an alpha particle but are much more penetrative. Most beta particles will easily pass through paper and can be energetic enough to pass right through you, doing virtually no damage along the way. Depending on how energetic they are, they can deposit energy as they pass through your cells, interacting with the matter that makes up you, or even stop inside you, depositing all their energy within you. This is worst case for a beta particle.

Gamma particles are no different than the light coming out of your flashlight, except their wavelength is much shorter, meaning they are much more energetic. Gamma particles are photons. This is the type of radiation created by a radiographic (X-Ray) machine and used to image your bones. Gamma particles tend to have less energy than alpha or beta particles because they have no rest mass. They are far more penetrative than either alpha or beta particles and, depending on energy, will zip right through you causing little to no damage. They can also, depending on energy, do quite a bit of damage.

Little known fact: a sunburn is actually an arythema, or radiation burn, caused by ultraviolet radiation.

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23 Posts
So even if you get none in your system via inhalation you still need the KI for the particles that are shot into your body by external particles?

Also, is getting a wet piece of cloth a good filter?
My previous post hopefully partially answered the first question here. The short answer is no. You don't need the potassium iodide for external radiation exposure and it is highly unlikely that the right set of circumstances will arise wherein potassium iodide will provide any benefit beyond peace of mind bereft of reason.

The answer to your second question depends on which of the three types of radiation you are exposed to. If you are exposed to alpha particle radiation, then a wet cloth will filter out virtually all the alpha particles (assuming you aren't breathing through a single layer of wet burlap or cheesecloth). If you are exposed to beta or gamma radiation, the cloth will do no good because the particles or photons will zip right through and do not need to be inhaled to do damage.

To be honest, there really isn't much you can do to prepare for a nuclear scenario besides moving to the boonies which probably won't be a high-priority target. If there is a nuclear blast, by the time you know about it, you will already have been exposed to the initial, primary radiation from the detonation. Fallout patterns will be determined primarily by weather. Potassium Iodide pills, fallout shelters, and lead-lined underwear isn't going to do much good. The fallout shelter might, but you better be in it when the bomb goes off and you'd better have it stocked for the long haul, as in months to years. Good luck.
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