In Michigan
6:38 pm
Tue September 8, 2009

State offers anti-radiation tablets to people near nuke plants

Michigan Public Radio Network – The state Department of Community Health is offering a free one-day supply of potassium iodide pills for people who live near a nuclear power plant. The pills can help reduce the effects of radiation in the event of a nuclear accident.

Janet Olzewski is the director of the department of community health. She says getting the pills to people who face possible exposure to radiation is now part of the state's plans for dealing with a nuclear emergency.

"Of course, evacuation and sheltering are the most important things to do in the case of an incident at a nuclear power plant, and, of course, those plans are in place, but this is an opportunity for people to have the pills and if take them very quickly after a potential exposure, it helps prevent thyroid conditions afterward, and potentially, thyroid cancer," she said.

Olzewski says there's no reason to believe any of Michigan's three nuclear plants pose a threat. She says people who live or frequently visit areas within 10 miles of a nuclear plant can order the tablets at a local pharmacy. The pills are provided by the federal government.