Japan: Potassium Iodide (KI)

Taken Question
Washington, DC
March 21, 2011

Question: Can you confirm that potassium iodide (KI) distribution to US Government-related personnel in Japan did not begin before March 21, 2011? Please provide logistics of distribution of KI to official Americans: When will they receive it? Who will distribute it to them? Who will alert them that it’s time to take it? How will that message be disseminated? Will it be provided to private US citizens as well? If so, how do they make known their need and location?

Answer: Distribution to USG-related personnel will begin March 22.

Supplies of potassium iodide pills are being pre-positioned and will be made available under medical supervision to official U.S. Government military and civilian personnel and their dependents. We currently are working out the logistics for such distribution.
This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution and is consistent with Nuclear Regulatory Commission guidelines that apply to such a situation in the United States. Obtaining KI is strictly a precaution. No one should take KI at this time.

Private U.S. citizens seeking information about KI are advised to contact their doctor or employer. Our website at http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_5378.html should be monitored for the most up-to-date information. For further assistance, U.S. citizens can contact the Department of State by email at JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov or by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444

PRN: 2011/433