PHOENIX – Working together with federal and local partners, three state agencies are keeping close tabs on the radar and changing situation with the air currents from Japan. There is a plume coming toward the southwestern U.S. coast from Japan. At this time, the amount of radiation in the plume is not much different than people experience on a cross-country flight.
The Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency (ARRA), the Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) and the Department of Health Services (ADHS) issued a statement today emphasizing that people in Arizona are safe from dangerous radiation and need to be aware of potential dangers of taking potassium iodide when there is no danger.
“Between the state and federal agencies monitoring the situation, we are confident that there is no danger to the people today,” said Will Humble, ADHS Director. “We are worried that people are taking medication that they don’t need and could create problems for themselves.”
Arizonans should not take potassium iodide as a precautionary measure:
- It is not necessary given the current circumstances in Japan,
- It can be dangerous to people with allergies to iodine, shellfish or who have thyroid problems, and
- Taken inappropriately, it can have serious side effects including abnormal heart rhythms, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte abnormalities and bleeding.
Besides the air monitoring conducted by ARRA in Arizona, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have all stated that there is no risk expected to Arizona or its residents as a result of the situation in Japan.