Finns run for iodine after blasts at Japanese nuclear plant

March 14, 2011

Concerns about possible radiation from Japan's earthquake-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant sparked a weekend run on iodine tablets as far away as Finland, the country's largest pharmacy chain said Monday.

"On Saturday there was a run on , but the situation calmed down and we were able to replenish the stock on Sunday," Yliopiston Apteekki spokesman Jari Kokkonen told AFP.

Kokkonen said that some of their pharmacies in central Finnish cities like Tampere and Jyvaeskylae ran out of iodine completely on Saturday.

He believes the run on iodine was mostly due to people flying to Japan or the region, adding that many travellers had called the company's hotline for advice.

Finland's radiation and nuclear safety authority STUK said in a statement there was no chance the danger in Japan would lead to people in Finland needing to take iodine.

"Iodine tablets should not be taken without recommendations from officials, because the risk of side effects is greater than the possible benefit," the authority warned.

In neighbouring Sweden, a spokeswoman for the largest pharmacy chain, state-owned Apoteket, told AFP many worried customers asked about iodine over the weekend, but that the chain did not sell more tablets than usual.

The Fukushima 1 plant was hit by two explosions at buildings housing two reactors since a massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan Friday, and the at a third stopped working Monday.

Chief government spokesman Yukio Edano said that radiation around the plant 250 kilometres (155 miles) north of Tokyo was at a tolerable level for humans.

Explore further: Future cancers from Fukushima plant may be hidden

Related Stories

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy (Update)

April 17, 2014

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the incoming head of ...

Virtually painless – how VR is making surgery simpler

January 31, 2017

Surgeons and their patients are finding that virtual reality can relieve the pain and stress of operations – and it's safer and cheaper than sedatives. Jo Marchant travels to a Mexican mountaintop village to visit a clinic ...

Recommended for you

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017

(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Study shows blood products unaffected by drone trips

December 7, 2016

In what is believed to be the first proof-of-concept study of its kind, Johns Hopkins researchers have determined that large bags of blood products, such as those transfused into patients every day, can maintain temperature ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (1) Mar 14, 2011
Is this article titled right? I thought it was potassium IODIDE not IODINE pills that a person takes?
not rated yet Mar 14, 2011
I should start taking advantage of the lemmings and selling potassium iodide pills to the eco wackos in Cali.

Bet I'd make a trillion...
not rated yet Mar 14, 2011
I'm Finnish and I have always maintained that my country is full of idiots, but this definitely takes the cake. This is embarrassing.
not rated yet Mar 14, 2011
Well, the eco-terrorists have made maintaining and rebuilding and making new nuclear infrastructure impossible but the eco-terrorists burn gas and energy like mad. So we have 40 year old reactors that cant survive a 9 magnitude (they did admirably so far containing a total failure) - but we have the technology with pebble bed and generation iV+ reactors to get rid of more of the risks.

Take your pick. Coal, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Oil. Nuclear is the least damaging due to the fact waste stays in one place (rather than being put into the atmosphere) and with new designs even more risk is averted. But the eco-terrorists want to use this to make "green" seem more appealing. Its a sad time where disasters are used by these sick people to push their eco-terrorist agenda.

Its ridiculous since no one was worried about radiation on the west coast after Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic blasts and they shot radiation well over 30,000 feet and there was no evidence of that radiation coming here.
not rated yet Mar 14, 2011
Its ridiculous since no one was worried about radiation on the west coast after Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic blasts and they shot radiation well over 30,000 feet and there was no evidence of that radiation coming here. And if you read about Bikini and Enewetak Atoll (or Eniwetok Atoll) blasts - we even did a 15 megaton blast in open air called the castle bravo shot. The mushroom cloud reached a height of 47,000 feet (14 km) and a diameter of 7 miles (11 km) in about a minute; it then reached a height of 130,000 feet (40 km) and 62 miles (100 km) in diameter in less than 10 minutes and was expanding at more than 100 m/s. Some local radiation was the result. (See "Lucky Dragon").
5 / 5 (4) Mar 14, 2011
In later news:

After the earthquake, the death toll in Finland has exceeded that in Japan due to widespread iodine poisoning.
not rated yet Mar 15, 2011
It seems that we are taking the pills way too late here in Finland. 'Worldwide, iodine deficiency affects two billion people and is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation.'
not rated yet Mar 20, 2011
Buying iodine pills and actually eating them are two different things. Being prepared for the worst is ok.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.