WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – Residents who live near any of Pennsylvania’s five nuclear power plants can pick up free potassium iodide tablets today from the state and their local health department.

In the Philadelphia region, it’s for people who live or work within a ten-mile radius of the Limerick nuclear power plant.  That covers people in Montgomery, Chester, and Berks counties.

The pills are designed to protect the thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine that may be released during an accident.

Pat Yoder, nursing supervisor with the Chester County Health Department, says the nuclear disaster in Japan earlier this year created a flurry of phone calls from anxious residents.

“It made people aware that this is a smart protective measure to take if you live close to a nuclear power plant,” she tells KYW Newsradio.

Four tablets will be provided to each person, and individuals can pick up tablets for other family members who can’t pick them up on their own.

The pills are only taken when instructed by public health officials following a radiation leak, and can usually be stored for five to seven years.

If you can’t make this event, the pills can be picked up any time at state and county health departments.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060


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