Replacement pills available for residents near nuke power plants

Published: Nov. 15, 2007 at 4:36 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2008 at 4:30 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The state health agency says residents in 13 counties who live near nuclear power plants can pick up pills that could help reduce the risks of some cancers during a radioactive release.

Residents can get new potassium iodide pills to replace those set to expire this month. Residents don't need to throw out those pills yet. The state health department says federal agencies have tested the pills and extended the expiration date to 2009.

More than 1.3 million potassium iodide pills have been distributed in South Carolina since 2002.

People can get the pills at public health departments between 8:30am and 5pm in Aiken, Allendale, Barnwell, Chesterfield, Darlington, Fairfield, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland and York counties:

  • Aiken County Public Health Department - 828 Richland Avenue, West; Aiken, SC
  • Allendale County Public Health Department - 571 Memorial Avenue, North; Allendale, SC
  • Barnwell County Public Health Department - 164 Calhoun Street; Barnwell, SC
  • Chesterfield County Public Health Department - 203 North Page Street; Chesterfield, SC
  • Darlington County Public Health Department - 305 Russell Street; Darlington, SC
  • Hartsville Public Health Department (Darlington County) - 130 Camden Avenue; Hartsville, SC
  • Fairfield County Public Health Department - 1136 Kincaid Bridge Road; Winnsboro, SC
  • Lee County Public Health Department - 810 Brown Street; Bishopville, SC
  • Lexington County Public Health Department - 112 West Hospital Drive; West Columbia, SC
  • Newberry County Public Health Department - 2111 Wilson Road; Newberry, SC
  • Oconee County Public Health Department - 609 N. Townsville Street; Seneca, SC
  • Walhalla Public Health Department (Oconee County) - 200 Booker Drive; Walhalla, SC
  • Pickens County Public Health Department - 200 McDaniel Avenue; Pickens, SC
  • Richland County Public Health Department - 2000 Hampton Street; Columbia, SC
  • York County Public Health Department - N. Congress Street; York, SC
  • Rock Hill Public Health Center (York County) - 1070 Heckle Blvd; Rock Hill, SC

Four commercial nuclear facilities operate within the state of South Carolina; there is one plant in Georgia that affects Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell counties.  The South Carolina facilities include the Catawba Nuclear Station, the H.B. Robinson Nuclear Plant, the Oconee Nuclear Station and the V.C. Summer Nuclear Plants. The Vogtle nuclear plant, south of Augusta, Ga., has part of its 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone in South Carolina.

DHEC says potassium iodide, also known as KI, is similar to table salt. It is routinely added to table salt to make it "iodized." If taken in time and in the appropriate dosage, KI blocks the thyroid gland's intake of radioactive iodine. DHEC says that could reduce the risk of thyroid cancers and other diseases that could result from exposure to radioactive iodine; one of the possible radioactive materials that could be disbursed in a severe nuclear incident.

Copyright 2007 Raycom Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.