Washington—As fears of nuclear terrorism
rise along with apprehensions about conventional and biological attacks, some
media outlets have recommended that residents of large US cities keep a supply
of over-the-counter potassium iodide on hand.
But such advice was called into question at a recent symposium here
on the usefulness of the drug, sponsored by the American Thyroid Association
and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Experts concluded
that potassium iodide could indeed help prevent thyroid cancers after a nuclear
blast or a nuclear reactor meltdown on the scale of Chernobyl or larger.
Vastag B. Experts Advise on Potassium Iodide Use. JAMA. 2003;289(16):2058. doi:10.1001/jama.289.16.2058