The heightened threats of nuclear war amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have spiked the interest of Americans to be prepared for such a possibility. This has led to more people purchasing potassium iodide tablets, which have a proven ability to blunt the effects of radiation exposure.
The manufacturer of iOsat said its $14 packs of potassium iodide tablets are already sold out on its website. Identical tablets are already up for sale for as much as $149 per pack on online marketplaces like eBay.
“We anticipate to be restocked after mid-March,” wrote the manufacturer on its website.
CamelCamelCamel, a website that tracks the prices of goods sold online, found that one bottle of 180 potassium iodide pills used to cost just $30 several weeks ago on Amazon. Now, the cost has more than doubled to about $70.
On the website for NOW Foods, a bottle of potassium iodide tablets is now priced at $29.98, up from about $20 in late 2021.
Manufacturers in the United States have noted that their inventories have been rapidly decreasing since Feb. 24, when the invasion of Ukraine began.
European countries also experiencing surge in demand for potassium iodide
Just one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces occupied Chernobyl and the area around the old power plant, the site of one of the world’s most catastrophic nuclear disasters.
A week later, Russian forces advancing from occupied Crimea in southern Ukraine shelled the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe’s largest such facility, causing a fire at one of the site’s buildings to break out.
Russian forces in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv destroyed an atomic-physics lab that was supposed to be protected under international safeguards. In the capital of Kyiv in the country’s north, several nuclear waste facilities were heavily damaged by Russian munitions during the first week of the war.
Meanwhile, Putin has placed Russia’s nuclear arsenal on a “special regime of high alert combat duty.” U.S. intelligence has noted that this is more for posturing, possibly in an attempt to get Ukrainian negotiators to concede to more Russian demands. (Related: World War III will be “nuclear and destructive,” warns Russian foreign minister.)
But this has not stopped fears of a nuclear disaster or nuclear war from rising, especially in Europe.
Finland, for example, which shares an 830-mile-long border with Russia, has seen a 100-fold increase in demand for potassium iodide. In Norway, over 90,000 packets of potassium iodide tablets were sold in one week, and retailers and domestic manufacturers are now experiencing supply shortages.
In Belgium, at least 30,000 residents went to pharmacies to avail themselves of free potassium iodide pills.
CDC cautions against taking too much potassium iodide
In light of the increased demand, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put out announcements explaining the dangers of taking too many potassium iodide tablets at once.
The CDC further explained that in the event of a nuclear incident like the nearby detonation of a nuclear weapon or a catastrophic disaster in a nuclear reaction, radioactive iodine (radioiodine) is released into the air.
The radioactive iodine can enter the body, usually by being breathed in, and is then quickly absorbed by the thyroid gland. Once in the thyroid, the radioiodine can either destroy the gland or cause different kinds of cancers.
Radiation protection specialists have pointed out that, while potassium iodide is not a “magic bullet” that can protect people against all radiation exposure, if taken correctly it can offer some protection, especially for the thyroid.
“It will not protect against external radiation or internal radiation from radionuclides other than radioiodine,” wrote the Health Physics Society. “This salt, if taken either before or very soon after a radioiodine intake and if taken in the proper dose, will block the uptake of radioiodine by the thyroid.”
Learn more about the threat of nuclear war, and what people can do to prepare for it at Nuclear.news.
Listen to this episode of the “Health Range Report” as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, talk about how Putin, Brandon and NATO are all attempting to escalate tensions and push the world into a nuclear world war.
More related stories: