Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sales of Geiger counters and potassium iodide spike after Japan earthquake

Pharmacies in West coast states are being inundated with phone calls from people asking for potassium iodide, a drug commonly used to treat low-level radiation exposure (Fox12Oregon). Sales of Geiger counters and potassium iodide supplements that can block some radiation have surged nationwide since Friday, fueled by concerns among some Americans that radiation released from Japanese nuclear plants could spread to the United States. ... potassium iodide supplements — which can protect the thyroid gland if taken before or shortly after a person is exposed to radiation but do not protect other body parts or prevent damage from other radioactive substances — are either sold out or selling quickly at several Chicago-area stores.

"I've had probably upwards of 100 calls in the last few days concerning this product," said Brennan Cox, an assistant manager at The Vitamin Shoppe in Lincoln Park. He said the store's handful of 2-ounce bottles were gone by Saturday.

True Nature Foods in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood also was sold out of potassium iodide Tuesday. That store and Kramers Health Foods in the Loop, which still had some potassium iodide in stock, have been unable to place new orders, employees at both stores said.

Deerfield-based Walgreen Co. reported that its stores on the West Coast have been receiving inquiries about potassium iodide, but the company does not stock the product, spokesman Jim Cohn said.

Meanwhile, companies that sell Geiger counters have been overwhelmed with orders.

"The phone has been ringing off the hook," said Raphael Karunditu, president of California-based Gamma-Scout. "We have hundreds upon hundreds of orders, and our partner in Germany is talking about thousands of orders at his site." ...

via Sales of Geiger counters and potassium iodide spike after Japan earthquake. -

I have a few more times open this weekend (March 19 &20) if you'd like your Sacramento area home checked for radiation levels with my Geiger counter. You could just go ahead and trust the news when they say that there is no danger... well, I don't know about you, but I like to see the numbers for myself.

Xeno's Home Radiation Level Exam Service
$25 Fee includes testing for
Alpha, Beta, Gamma and X-Ray radiation
group rates available


Cheng said...

People aren't too concerned about the link between potassium iodide and heart disease then?

PYRODIN said...

Hehe, I think you can make a kind of crappy Geiger counter out of a multimeter and a metal plate, all it does really is collect electrons/ionized particles, instead of those little tics you just measure the microvolts from the metal plate, kinda like a one sided capacitor the other being the earth(ground)when the radioactive particles hit the plate they transfer some of their charge, its not very sensitive and I wouldn't bet my life on it unless I had to.