(InformingNews.com) – Instability on the world stage has people questioning their safety and security. Some individuals are planning for the worst-case scenario. Many Europeans are rushing to purchase iodine pills out of worry that a nuclear war could be imminent.
Europeans are so scared of a nuclear attack they’re panic buying iodine tablets https://t.co/8jM1TuJggp
— FORTUNE (@FortuneMagazine) March 9, 2022
Pharmacists report a massive increase in orders and bare shelves in their stores. People are hoarding the pills, with many going online to get them. In Lithuania, the government is sending iodine pills to citizens.
Why would people want iodine? According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, the supplement can help offer some protection in the case of a nuclear leak. Iodine blocks the absorption of radioactive particles in the thyroid, which is the most vulnerable part of the body to fallout.
The thyroid absorbs iodine so it can function. In a nuclear incident, there is a harmful type of radioactive iodine. The gland would immediately take in all that hazardous substance, but it fills with the safe type if a person takes iodine pills. If the thyroid takes in the radioactive iodine, it increases a person’s chances of getting cancer in the gland.
Iodine pills were a standard treatment after the 1983 Chernobyl incident, but they may not be that essential to keep on hand. Experts agree there is some benefit to taking the substance, but if not used properly, it can be dangerous. The threat is especially high in individuals who have thyroid disorders.
Furthermore, iodine may not benefit older individuals who wouldn’t live long enough to see the effects of exposure. People should also note that it only protects against iodine-131 and won’t help block other types of radioactive substances. In general, health professionals recommend only people aged 40 or younger take the supplement in the event of nuclear fallout.
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