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View Diary: Ask Mister Preparedness Guy: all answers 5¢ (152 comments)

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  •  Old water, iodine, flashlights (none)
    Old bottled water: I wouldn't consider it safe for consumption, but there are so many variables it's hard to say for sure.  If I were you, I'd use it to water outdoor plants.

    Iodine: That's an interesting question, Histo.  I'm not an MD, much less an endocrinologist, so I'm probably not the right one to ask.  The real question is whether a thyroid suppressed by previous radiotherapy will continue to assimilate available iodine from the bloodstream.  Perhaps you could ask your doctor and let us all know?

    Flashlights: Sure, the magnetic-induction "shaker" lights work in the cold, assuming it's not so cold that internal parts break when you shake it.  This is more of an Alaska/Canada issue than an Ohio issue, of course, but something to consider.  Note also that these are unsafe to use around certain medical devices, such as pacemakers, because of the extremely strong magnetic field.

    Another possibility is lithium-cell LED lights, both the keychain-sized single-LED ones and the larger SureFire type torches.  Lithium batteries will last for 10 years in storage, a definite plus.

    -AG

    You are so evolved it boggles my fragile little mind. Now give me a 4, fucker. (Bill In Portland Maine, to Meteor Blades)

    by AlphaGeek on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 12:42:47 PM PDT

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    •  They can't even find my thyroid anymore (4.00)
      I'm thinking that when you all start to glow, it will be me and the cockroaches ruling the world.

      "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

      by histopresto on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 12:47:05 PM PDT

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    •  Iodine only works for certain materials (none)
      Useless against Plutonium or Cesium, good for Uranium but only within 24 hours of exposure:

      lawnorder: Fearful of radiation, Americans look to pill

      Potassium iodide, or KI, is hardly a shield or antidote to radiation exposure, a fact its proponents acknowledge. Yet the pills are increasingly popular nationwide, if for no other reason than that they offer anxious Americans a tangible measure of control in uncertain times.

      "It is one of the only things out there that we can use to protect ourselves," said Phillip Pinkney, one of more than 2,600 people who lined up for a recent pill giveaway in this New York suburb, just up the road from the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

      "Even if it is not a solution, living near this facility, it is better for my family to be safe than sorry," Pinkney said.

      Attack fears raise pill's profile

      To public health and nuclear safety experts, the sudden popularity of KI reflects a free-form fear of nuclear crisis, which is being stoked by talk of potential dangers, from a terrorist attack on a nuclear plant, to this week's news of a possible "dirty bomb" plot. Overall, experts agree, the pills could be lifesaving in some scenarios, but irrelevant in others.

      "If there is an attack with a conventional fission bomb, or a breach of fuel in a reactor, then taking KI would help because there is a lot of iodine release," said Andrew Karam, head of nuclear safety at the University of Rochester. "But a full-fledged nuclear attack is probably much less likely than a 'dirty' bomb, and in that case . . . the KI would probably not do any good."

      Also available over the counter at pharmacies for $1 a tablet, the drug works by flooding the thyroid with a harmless form of iodine, which keeps it from absorbing the radioactive iodine that can be released in a nuclear explosion or reactor leak. Infants and children, whose thyroids are growing, are at particular risk of developing cancer.

      The FDA updated guidelines last year for using the pill in a radiation emergency, based on studies of the 1986 nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union. Victims who received potassium iodide had lower rates of thyroid cancer compared to those who did not take it.

      To function, the drug must be taken before or within an hour after exposure to radioactive iodine. The pill's benefits last approximately 24 hours. Experts point out that the pills are useless against other nuclear materials, such as plutonium or cesium.

      Perception trumps Reality until a category 5 Reality blows all the spin away

      by lawnorder on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 09:24:22 PM PDT

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