Potassium iodate tablets

Potassium iodate tablets

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Credit: MARTIN BOND/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Potassium iodate tablets. Tablets containing potassium iodate (KIO3). In the event of an accident at a nuclear power station, one of the most dangerous components of radioactive fallout would be an isotope of iodine (iodine 131). Iodine is taken up by the body and concentrated in the thyroid gland. Exposure to iodine 131 can lead to thryoid cancer, especially in the young. By taking tablets containing large doses of iodine, people exposed could saturate their body's need for iodine and prevent uptake of the radioisotope. These tablets were issued to people living near power stations at Hinkley Point, Somerset, UK.

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