Living longer 101: What to do in the Event of Radiation from a Leak or Nuclear Exchange

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by Nils Osmar. October 14, 2022. Medical Disclaimer

The possibility of exposure to a sudden increase in radiation has been on my mind lately for reasons that are probably obvious.

I debated whether to write an article about it on this site, but decided that in light of world events, it fits well enough to include. This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice.

The potassium iodide question

One question that surfaces now and then is whether it makes sense to take potassium iodide (KI) (available as a supplement). Is it really protective against radiation?

People who take it preemptively are often ridiculed. But according to the New York State Dept. of Health, it does offer some degree of protection if taken immediately; not so much if time has passed. See article: Potassium Iodide (KI) and Radiation Emergencies: Fact Sheet

By itself, taking KI won’t “save” people, and of course, no supplement can protect against the effects of a blast. But when taken in addition to other measures, according to the article, it may have some value.

This CDC article, Potassium Iodide: KI, points out that KI is protective against radioactive iodine but not against other types of radiation, So its protective effects in the body are limited.

The NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) made this statement on this website: “Potassium iodide protects the thyroid gland against internal uptake of radioiodines that may be released in the unlikely event of a nuclear reactor accident. The purpose of radiological emergency preparedness is to protect people from the effects of radiation exposure after an accident at a nuclear power plant.”

What about astaxanthin?

It’s possible that the carotenoid astaxanthin might provide some level of protection. It’s been tested and found to be effective against some types of radiation, under some conditions. The notion that it might be protective against the radiation released in a nuclear leak or exchange is of course speculative. See study.

Close to a blast site?

When it comes to radiation, both rays and particles are a concern.

As the narrator points out in the video below, being in the basement of a house (where rays would need to pass through a “wall” of solid earth to reach you) is safer than being in a living room. Being in the center of a very large building increases our degree of protection for a similar reason.

Wearing full face mask respirators such as a P100 mask is protective against inhaling radioactive particles (which become problematic mainly when they’re inhaled).

Obviously none of these will protect us directly from the heat and impact of a blast.

More food for thought:

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