In case of a nuclear accident radioactive iodine can be released. Through tha airways or contaminated food it may enter the body. The thyroid gland stocks iodine until it is saturated, thus causing radiation "from within." By this permanent radiation the chance to develop cancer or other illments considerably increases. By saturating the thyroid gland with non-radioactive iodine in tablets, one can prevent the absorption of radioactive iodine.
The preventive intake of iodine tablets is not always applicable, not even after the occurence of a nuclear accident. Iodine tablets do not offer protection against other radioactive substances, absorbed in the body. The best protection against those substances is sheltering.
- Keep the iodine tablets nearby. Only take them if the authorities recommend you to do so. The tablets offer protection for 24 hours.
- Follow the dose as indicated in the instruction leaflet. It differs depending upon age. The younger one is, the more important it is to protect oneself against the negative effects of radioactive iodine. For adults older than 40 prior contact should be made with the doctor who treats them, in order to discuss the benefit of any intake of iodine tablets.