Monday, April 4, 2011

Potassium Iodide Sales Spike Following Quake

When Gene Bernardi asked her doctor two weeks ago if he would prescribe her potassium iodide, he laughed. Bernardi, a Berkeley resident, said she wanted a way to protect against radioactive iodine, but her doctor advised against taking the medicine. However, Bernardi, like many in the city, was still concerned about radiation in the Bay Area - from the plume of radioactive particles released by Japan's nuclear reactors that were damaged in the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami - although officials maintain that levels of radiation are very low and harmless. Kai Vetter, UC Berkeley associate professor-in-residence of nuclear engineering,who installed a monitor on the roof of Etcheverry Hall, said that even at the highest levels measured, a person would have to breathe that air for 2,000 years to be exposed to the same amount of radiation that one would experience from a cross-country flight. More>