Anti-radiation pills distributed to residents near nuclear plant - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Anti-radiation pills distributed to residents near nuclear plants

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Construction of two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle continues and the Savannah River Site is still being used to store tons of radioactive waste. That has the Nuclear Regulatory Commission concerned for those who live in the areas; so much so, they are supplying the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control with 1.2 million doses of Potassium Iodide. People living in a 10-mile radius of the sites are encouraged have the medication in the event of an emergency, just in case.

"My whole concern would be 'Why do we have to take a pill?" wondered Amy Stalk, who lives right up the street from SRS. "Wouldn't there be other safety precautions to try and get us out of the area."

Even though DHEC says it's not a "magical pill", Potassium Iodide, or KI provides additional protection to the thyroid gland against one form of radiation. They say it can prevent certain cancers if someone is exposed to radiation.

"Now it's not a vaccine, it's a pill that you basically keep stashed away in your medicine cabinet, and then you would be told at the time of an emergency situation that it's time to take it," said Jim Beasley, spokesperson for DHEC.

Health departments in Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell counties are stocked with the medication. Though the pill isn't mandatory for people to have on hand, DHEC is taking every precaution to keep the citizens they serve safe.

Aiken County Health Department
222 Beaufort Street NE
Aiken, S.C. 29801
(803) 642-1687

Allendale County Health Department
571 Memorial Avenue, North
Allendale, S.C. 29810
(803) 584-3818

Barnwell County Health Department
11015 Ellenton Street
Barnwell, S.C. 29812
(803) 541-1061

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