Free Potassium Iodide tablets distributed to Lake County residents

Free Potassium Iodide tablets distributed to Lake County residents
Perry Nuclear Power Plant. (Source: WOIO)

LAKE COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Commissioner Ron Graham announced Tuesday plans for the distribution of Potassium Iodide (KI) to residents living or working within 10 miles of the Perry Nuclear Power Plant.

Graham stresses the tablets are not a magic bullet. A radiation leak would threaten all your vital organs, but he calls it an important step in the safety process during a potential leak.

"KI is not a substitute for emergency procedures, such as evacuation and in-place sheltering during a nuclear emergency," Graham said. "It is, however, one more protective measure we can provide to help safeguard Lake County residents."

Although KI will be available at care centers that would open as a result of a release from the power plant, it must be taken as soon as public health officials tell you to do so in order to be effective.

Potassium Iodide is a non-prescription medication that if taken within a specific time frame, can protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine, one of the contaminants that could be released in a nuclear accident or similar event. Exposure to radioactive iodine can increase the risk of thyroid cancer.

But in the program's 13


year, only 25 percent of those eligible have picked up the free tablets.

"What helps me sleep at night is if we had 100 percent of those individuals, businesses and employers having this," said Graham.

Many residents we spoke with aren't concerned about the safety at the plant, but they also were not aware of the county's safety program.

"I actually didn't know anything until you asked me about it. I didn't know they were available, and yes, I'd be willing to take them. I think it's a good idea," said Lake County resident Cathie Wise.

KI tablets can be picked up at the following pharmacies through Feb. 16 during regular pharmacy hours of operation:

CVS Pharmacy

9040 Mentor Ave.

Mentor, Ohio 44060


Giant Eagle Pharmacy

6079 Andrews Rd.

Mentor on the Lake, Ohio 44060


Great Lakes Pharmacy

9500 Mentor Ave.

Mentor, Ohio 44060


K-Mart Pharmacy

9200 Mentor Ave.

Mentor, OH


Marc's Pharmacy

7353 Mentor Ave.

Mentor, Ohio 44060


Target Pharmacy

9669 Mentor Ave.

Mentor, Ohio 44060



Beginning Feb. 16, Lake County residents may pick up KI at LCGHD from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Health District is located at One Victoria Square Suite 125 in Painesville.

Businesses should call LCGHD at 440-350-2543 to place an order for KI for their employees. After their order has been filled, businesses will then pick up KI at LCGHD during business hours.

Copyright 2015 WOIO. All rights reserved.