Where’s the Iodide?


By now even the most cautious among us have either hit the stores looking for iodide, or are thinking about it.  We put up an article a couple of days ago about the rush to buy potassium iodide and later updated it to mention Kelp as an alternative. I’d like to say it was my medical knowledge and journalist instincts that brought about the update, but truth be told, it was my wife that sparked it.

My wife has a strong streak of “err on the side of caution” in her, she had gone to the store looking for iodide, it was gone, but was directed to Kelp supplements by a friend who is big on natural treatments.   There were many brand choices and plenty of each on the shelf, about $6.95 for a good sized bottle. Note: Follow the recommended dosage of any of these products, Iodine/Iodide is toxic in surprisingly small amounts. When she returned home and told me about it, I decided it should be added to the article.

After posting the update I noticed that the page visits to that story were again spiking (I watch my analytics like a reality TV show).  That’s good news for a startup news site like ours.  The next morning I mentioned it to my wife and she immediately reminded me of a fundamental difference between men and women:  I was liking the traffic, she decided it meant she didn’t have enough bottles of Kelp.  On went the coat and out the door she went.  Nearly two hours later, and about 3 minutes before I was going to reach for the speed dial, she showed up looking upset.  Seems all the available kelp products were also gone and the price had changed overnight.  This obviously wasn’t solely because of our article, but citizen journalism is a powerful force and like it or not,  word of mouth is effective citizen journalism.

On the serious side, its hard to ignore the incredible disaster that is going on in Japan. Here on the west coast we also are very familiar with our weather patterns; we see which way the wind blows.  In spite of assurances few of us will take the bet that what we are being told is 100% accurate going forward regarding our insulation and safety from any fallout from the ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan.   We shouldn’t be so eager to hedge our trust bet that we overpay, hoard, or get scammed during the shortages that stores are currently experiencing.

If you aren’t going to be going out and buying yourself some kelp or iodine and helping our local economy, I’d like to suggest you make a donation to help. I’m doing both.

Fear Sparks Rush to Buy Iodine Tablets (updated)


Apparently some locals are fearing for their safety as nuclear reactors in Japan continue to degrade in the wake of the almost 9.0 magnitude earthquake. Fearing radiation may reach the West Coast, local stores have seen a huge spike in their sales of iodine tablets, often used with radiation exposure. Some stores are even selling out, as Capella Market tweeted this morning  “We are getting calls about potassium iodide. We are sold out. Nat. Health dept is checking w/distributors, but not sure when/if available.” they later followed up by tweeting “Just received word that our supplier is unable to overnight-ship potassium iodide to us. We’re hoping for a shipment later in the week.”

Not sure this will put many people’s minds at ease, but hopefully this will. For U.S. residents “there would be no cause for any concern,” Jerrold Bushberg, a medical physicist at UC Davis and a clinical professor of radiology and radiation oncology, told the Los Angeles Times today.

If you are leaning to the better safe than sorry side of the equation, a potential alternative is Kelp:

A type of seaweed, kelp, tends to be high in iodine as well, with from 0.03 – 0.45 dry weight percent. Because of its high concentration of iodine, brown kelp (Laminaria) has been used to treat goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland caused by a lack of iodine, since medieval times. — Wikipedia

Kelp can be found in a capsule form, a pill form, or as a powder.

Some homeopathic sites recommend: “Take kelp now, if you don’t already, in case there is any radioactive fallout from Japan. Take at least 1 – 5 capsules of kelp a day. If you are not used to it, start with one and build up.”

– Lindsey Asay for EDN