No need to fear radiation from Japan, say health experts

  • Mar. 21, 2011 9:00 a.m.

There is no need for islanders to stockpile or consume potassium iodide for fear of a blast of radiation travelling across the Pacific from Japan, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.Last week’s nuclear disaster in Japan poses no risk to people living on the west coast of BC, the centre says. The explosions that rocked a Japanese nuclear plant following the massive earthquake and tsunami resulted in radiation being dispersed into the atmosphere and fueled concerns that British Columbians were at risk of exposure to high levels of the toxic elements.”There is no evidence that day-to-day practices, like shopping or eating or going outside have to change in terms of radiation exposure,” said Tracy Tang of the BCCDC. “It is being closely monitored… and significant levels of radiation are not expected.”According to Health Canada, the damaged nuclear reactors are not expected to pose a health risk to BC residents, or the rest of Canada. The organization said that given the thousands of kilometres between BC and Japan, any radioactive material pushed by the wind in our direction will mostly be dispersed in the ocean long before it reaches us.Still, local pharmacies experienced an increased volume of phone calls regarding potassium iodide and anything on the shelf was sold out by mid-week last week.”There were a few bottles of (iodine) tincture on the shelf and they sold out, but it is not recommended for that use,” said Queen Charlotte pharmacist Daryl Regier. “The provincial health officer has discouraged the use of (potassium iodide), and the College of Pharmacists has advised that it not be dispensed or stockpiled. It takes it out of the global supply chain… Leave it for those who need it,” he said.According to Mr. Regier, potassium iodide saturates the thyroid with iodine so that if it enters the body it won’t be taken up by the thyroid gland and won’t be stored.BC’s provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall said “It is recommended that pharmacies not stockpile potassium iodide tablets… The consumption of tablets is not a necessary precaution as there is no current risk of radiological I(odine)131 exposure. Even if radiation ever made it to British Columbia, our prediction based on current information is that it would not pose any significant health risk.”

Just Posted

Marathon day on Haida Gwaii

Totem to Totem race looks to set another participation record

World’s largest animal spotted off coast of Haida Gwaii

Fisheries and Oceans Canada spotted the animal during their Science At-Sea mission

Two monumental poles return home to Haida Gwaii

The artifacts ended up in Vancouver by being taken, appropriated, stolen, or sold through the years

Northern B.C.’s Ridley coal terminal sold, Canada divests, First Nations to own portion

Ten per cent of shares transferred to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation

Haida artist Derek Edenshaw helps Rupert spruce up city

A giant kraken, painted by local artists under Edenshaw’s tutelage, is now on display

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

B.C. First Nation’s group using ads in Texas targeting company for fuel spill

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Most Read