Thursday, January 2, 2014

What Do You Do with 14 Million Potassium Iodide Pills?

The government is making another curious purchase.  For those of you who watch the activities of the government to try to figure out what they are up to, you will remember purchases such as FEMA's vast quantities of freeze-dried food and the 1.6 billion rounds of hollow-point ammunition that DHS bought. Even the Social Security Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration raised eyebrows when they purchased thousands of rounds of ammunition. 

This time it is potassium iodide tablets. The Department of Health and Human Services currently has a request for quote out to buy 14 million doses of potassium iodide in 20 dose blister packs. Potassium iodide (KI) is a salt that is used during nuclear emergencies involving radioactive isotopes of iodine. Taking potassium iodine blocks the uptake of radioactive iodine. Blocking the uptake of the radioactive iodine into the thyroid is a means of preventing the formation of cancer in the thyroid gland. The DHHS is requesting 65 mg pills. This is the dose of KI recommended by the FDA for a 3 to 18 year old during a nuclear emergency. The adult dosage is 130 mg.

From the solicitation:
(iv)  The contract line item number, item, quantity and unit of measure is :
Line No. 001; potassium iodide tablet, 65mg, unit dose package of 20s; 700,000 packages (of 20s)
(v)  Delivery is required on or before February 1, 2014.  Delivery will be made to:  DHHS, SSC, Bldg #5 Receiving Dock, Perry Point,MD  21902
Why DHHS is buying such a massive amount of potassium iodide is unknown. The Fukushima nuclear reactor, however, comes immediately to mind. The chairman of the Fukushima Monitoring Committee, Dale Klein, was recently interviewed by Australia Broadcasting Corporation. He stated during the interview that the contaminated water will eventually have to be dumped into the ocean. One of the isotopes released from the Fukushima Daiichi disaster is iodine-131.