Rockland, Orange stockpile pills in event of nuke attack

Posted: Updated:

Residents in Rockland and Orange counties may sleep a little easier now that one of the weapons used to fight radiation will soon be available.

The latest batch of potassium iodide pills arrived Friday. In the event of exposure to radioactive iodine, the human body concentrates the radiation in the thyroid glands. This could cause increased risk of thyroid cancer. The potassium iodide pills would help stop radiation from entering the thyroid glands in the event of an attack at the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

Dan Greeley, assistant director of emergency services, says the county health commissioner would determine when to hand out the pills. He says they are available to residents who live within the 10-mile emergency planning zone.

The pills will be dispersed to each village and town, who will in turn hand them out to residents in the next couple of weeks. The pills only protect against radioactive iodine. They do not offer general protection from other types of radiation.

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