Health Officials: Local Residents Don't Need Iodide Tablets

County Says Radiation Levels From Japan Not Expected To Be Hazardous

Residents of San Diego County do not need to take potassium iodide tablets to protect themselves from Japan's nuclear emergency, county health officials advised Thursday.

The county is working closely with national and state officials to monitor the radioactive plume emanating from the nuclear reactors crippled by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last week, according to San Diego County's Health and Human Services Agency.

Although a United Nations forecast obtained by The New York Times showed the plume would reach Southern California on Friday, the level of radiation is not expected to be hazardous, and there's no reason to take iodine tablets, said Dr. Eric McDonald, the county's deputy public health officer.

"Potassium iodide is used to protect the body from one specific type of radioactive material known as radioiodine," McDonald said. "Potassium iodide should only be used in cases of exposure to significant amounts of radioiodine."

County health officials said they will update the public on the situation as needed.

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