K Pills alert

Check the label on KI pills, it may be time for a new prescription
Journal News
(Original publication: April 2, 2007)
In the first wave of fear that followed the 9/11 attacks and made some anxious residents of the Lower Hudson Valley look at the Indian Point nuclear power plants in a new and uncomfortable light - as, say, target-on-Hudson - safety officials in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties eased public concern with a giveaway of potassium iodide pills.

The pills, commonly known as KI pills, are said to protect against thyroid cancer, one of the big health concerns of radiation exposure, particularly in children.

But, like all medications, KI has a shelf life. And for those who got the pills through the counties' distribution programs in 2002, that expiration date is here.

Westchester officials announced earlier this month that they will distribute new KI pills to schools, municipalities and others within the 10-mile radius of Indian Point. Putnam officials plan a give-away of fresh KI pills on Thursday, from 2-7 p.m. at the Carmel Town Hall. Rockland officials, too, are planning to distribute potassium iodide to towns and villages within the 10-mile radius, and to the public at the fire training center in Pomona.

For those who live outside of the 10-mile radius of Indian Point and got KI pills from their doctors, check the label. It may be time to call for a new prescription, too. Though the fear sparked by 9/11 may have subsided, it's still worth remembering an essential lesson of the attacks: Be prepared.


Lisa Rainwater, PhD
Indian Point Campaign Director
Riverkeeper, Inc.
828 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY 10591
P: 914-478-4501 x. 221
F: 914-478-4527