Monday, March 21, 2011

Iodine rant

A note about comments:
First, I'd like to apologize to those of you who have had problems commenting on posts. The Intense Debate comment system is great because I can reply directly to posts (and you could too) and you'd be notified by e-mail if you did get a reply. And it encourages discussion. But some users couldn't see the comment system. So I changed a setting the other night, and then some people could use the old Blogger way of commenting, and some people could use the Intense Debate way. I could no longer see the Intense Debate comments. I don't know if this is a browser issue, but it is right annoying, so I uninstalled the little bugger. Intense Debate was great because it allowed a true discussion, which I love, so the disadvantage of not having it is that I have to hope you check back and see if I replied (or other people replied) to your comment. Blogger is horribly lax in developing threaded comments that encourage discussion--a complete mistake in the online world of engagement with others. So then I re-installed Intense Debate and screwed everything up and lost all my comments over the past few months. So please bear with me while I figure this out.

OK, on with the post.
Anyway, I find that the closer I get to my due date, the more ragey I seem to be. I have about 3 or 4 weeks to go. You have my apologies in advance for me degenerating and using the blog to rave like an incensed squirrel. And today I need to just say how annoyed I am by all the people who bought up iodine pills in an effort to stave off huge cancerous clouds of radiation that supposedly would creep over the US from Japan, no doubt starting another dust bowl and leaving a destructive wake in its path the likes of which haven't been seen since locust plagues and the 1993 mutant mice plague of Australia (link goes to YouTube video), and which won't be seen again until Charlie Sheen begins his gooby and completely noninteresting tour of mumblings.

Put simple, iodine pills do not protect you from thyroid cancer. Okay?

Please read this bulletin from Mary Shoman, the thyroid guru and information clearinghouse on all things thyroid, for specifics. In case you can't bear to part from my blog (and really, who can blame you a bit!), I have pasted below Mary's most relevant points. I have thyroid disease so I pay attention to these things.

  • All potassium iodide can do is protect the thyroid from one radioactive isotope -- radioactive iodine. It is NOT an "Armageddon pill" or a "radiation protector pill." When taken properly, potassium iodide can saturate the thyroid with iodine, and prevent it from absorbing radioactive iodine, which can prevent the increased risk of thyroid cancer associated with radiation exposure.
  • Now, about taking potassium iodide properly...It must be the proper form -- potassium iodide -- and it must be in the proper doses, and it must be taken at the proper time. That means, it must be taken in the hours before and after the radioactive plume is passing over your area. Not days before. Not days later. If you're taking potassium iodide now, and it's days before any radioactive fallout (if any) has reached you, then you are not only wasting your money, but you are potentially risking your health.
  • If you are not directly in the path of the radioactive plume, potassium iodide will not only not protect you from anything, but it MAY INCREASE your risk of developing thyroid problems.

I hope we're clear.

Now. My mother and I had a conversation the other night that I thought you would find useful.

Me: I bet you're all freaked out about waves of radiation hitting the coast. [We both live on the coast of California; she lives quite bit further inland than I do.]

She: No.

Me: I am not worried. I shall tell you why.

She: Why?

Me: Because there are herds of healthy animals roaming the town of Chernobyl right now. They're all fine.

She: Yes, but they're radioactive. I heard it on the radio.

Me: But they're living healthy and happy lives. Who cares if they're radioactive.

She: You can't eat them.

[I should note that my mother and I have an ongoing discussion about the Carrington Effect, which is the massive electrical meltdown that will destroy all power grids in the US when a meteor hits us and causes a solar flare. The plan in that case is for Mr. Sierra and our whippersnappers and I to hop in the car and drive to my mother's house in the foothills of the mountains, where we will live off the land, hunting deer for food and, perhaps initially, raiding neighbor's garage full of canned goods that my mother saw once when he had the misfortune of opening his garage door as she was passing by.]

Me: You are concerned that eating them will be bad during the Carrington Effect.

She: Yes.

Me: If we eat them, we will glow--and that will be a bonus when there's no electricity to see by. By the way, have you printed instructions off the internet yet for cleaning and gutting a deer? We'll need them when our internet connection goes down.

She: No.

Me: Please get on that. You might also want to print directions on how to make a bow and arrow out of local foliage.

Moral of this post: Don't buy iodine pills. And eating Chernobyl animals is fine.

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