Stable and radioactive iodine
Our thyroid gland needs natural or stable iodine to function properly. We extract these small quantities from our food.
In case of radioactive emissions and without protecting yourself, your body can absorb and accumulate the radioactive iodine you are currently exposed to in your thyroid gland. This increases the risk of thyroid cancer, especially in children.
Radioactive iodine can enter your body in three ways:
- Inhalation of air with radioactive iodine. This danger can largely be avoided by staying indoors and keeping windows and doors closed. That is why sheltering is the best protective measure.
- Drinking or eating food with radioactive iodine. In the event of a nuclear accident, the government will always take the necessary measures to prevent the consumption of radioactively contaminated food, e.g. prohibiting consumption of milk or vegetables.
- Absorption through the skin. Absorption through the skin is usually negligible.
Taking a large amount of natural iodine (iodine tablets) at the right time (figure A), makes sure that your thyroid gland can no longer absorb unstable, radioactive iodine (figure B). This keeps your thyroid protected. You’ll rapidly eliminate the excess of iodine (non-radioactive and radioactive) through urine.