09/13/2022 - The Department of Health will offer free potassium iodide, or KI, tablets on Thursday, Sept. 15, to Pennsylvanians who are within 10 miles of the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station as part of routine preventive efforts in case of future emergencies.
"Emergency preparedness is a critical part of public health and having potassium iodide tablets for residents who live or work within 10 miles of an active nuclear facility is an essential preparation in the case of a radiological emergency," Acting Secretary of Health and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said. "It's important to remember potassium iodide should only be taken when instructed to do so by state health officials or the governor, and it is not a replacement for evacuation in the case of a radiological emergency at one of Pennsylvania's four active nuclear facilities."
KI can add another layer of protection when instructed to be used. It helps protect the thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine and can be taken by anyone if they are not allergic to it. It is safe for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding, people on thyroid medication, children and infants. Individuals who are unsure if they should take potassium iodide should ask a health care provider and only take if instructed to do so by state health officials or the governor.
The tablets are available to all Pennsylvanians who live or work within 10 miles of the state's four active nuclear power plants by visiting a distribution center listed below on Sept. 15, calling the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH or visiting the Lancaster County State Health Center.
Individuals requesting KI tablets may do so for other family members or those who are unable to get the tablets on their own. School districts and employers within a 10-mile radius can also arrange to obtain their supply of KI tablets from the department.
KI tablets will be distributed in Lancaster County at the location below. No appointments are necessary.
Location: East Drumore Township Municipal Building, 925 Robert Fulton Hwy., Quarryville, PA, 17566
Time: 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Information sheets explaining how many KI tablets should be taken, when to take the tablets, and how to store them are provided with the packages. Public health nurses can answer questions about the process over the phone as well.
Additional information on potassium iodide (KI) tablets and nuclear power plant safety can be found on the Department of Health's website at www.health.pa.gov.