Should I take iodine tablets?

From Testiwiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Main message:

Should I take iodine tablets because of radioactive emissions from the Fukushima nuclear accident?


Most likely you should not take iodine. It is recommended only to a part of those people who have been within 20 km from Fukushima since the accident. For all others, there is no benefit from iodine tablets.


Should I take iodine tablets?


If you are not in Japan, you should NOT take iodine because of Fukushima nuclear accident. Your own doctor will advice you if you need to take iodine due to some other reason. If you are in Japan, see more details below.

You should take iodine tablets (for dose, see table below) because of the Fukushima nuclear accident if and ONLY if all of these apply (you may have other reasons for iodine therapy, but we are not talking about that):

  • You are 40 years of age or younger.
  • You are living in the alert level 1 area (purple area, see map) of you have stayed or will stay there for more than a day between March 16 and March 31, 2011.
    • If you are near that area but not inside, you should not take iodine, but if possible, buy them from a pharmacy or get them from your local evalucation centre so that you have them readily at hand if the situation changes.
  • You are reading this between March 23 and March 31, 2011.
  • You have not taken iodine tablets within the previous three months.
  • You have consulted your doctor if you have a thyroid disease (e.g. goitre, hyperthyroidism).

<googlemap lat="37.319444" lon="141.021111" type="map" zoom="9"> 37.319444, 141.021111 Fukushima power plants

  1. C142D0 (#CE5FAB)

37.508019, 141.023254, Alert area 1 37.500175, 141.15509 37.454402, 141.218262 37.382416, 141.240234 37.319099, 141.240234 37.277586, 141.212769 37.240424, 141.141357 37.206269, 141.064453 37.208457, 140.982056 37.245635, 140.894165 37.324305, 140.85022 37.406419, 140.839233 37.478382, 140.880432 37.504533, 140.93811 37.513248, 141.020508 </googlemap>



On 16 March, Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission recommended local authorities to instruct evacuees leaving the 20-kilometre area to ingest stable (not radioactive) iodine. The pills and syrup (for children) had been prepositioned at evacuation centers. The order recommended taking a single dose, with an amount dependent on age: [1]

Amount of iodine that should be taken if the criteria apply.
Age Dose of iodine
Baby 12.5 mg
1 mo.-3 yrs. 25 mg
3-13 yrs. 38 mg
13-40 yrs. 76 mg
40+ yrs. Not necessary


Whether you should take iodine depends on several things.

  • Your location.
  • The time when you are reading these instructions.
  • Your previous diseases and treatments.

See also


Nuclear energy, nuclear accident, Fukushima, radioactivity, iodine


  1. IAEA: Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update (20 March 2011, 21:00 UTC), accessed 23 March 2011.

Related files