Potassium iodide (KI) is a salt compound consisting of potassium and iodine. Iodine is used by the thyroid gland to produce hormones that help control metabolism. KI has been provided to residents within the 10-mile emergency planning zone and should be taken only when directed by county officials.
Taken within several hours of exposure to radioactive iodine, KI can block the concentration of radioactive iodine in the thyroid gland, thereby reducing one type of radiation exposure.
The use of KI is only indicated in emergencies where the public is likely to be exposed to radioactive iodine. The state and county health departments monitor all radiation emergencies and will immediately notify the public if KI should be taken to prevent a radiation dose to the thyroid. The health department will make this immediately known through public announcements, through the media and through the Emergency Alert System.