"Here in California there is no radiologic emergencies so there is no recommendation to take iodine so we do recommend as public health officials people do not take iodine at this time, there are some potential health risks from taking potassium iodine." Moreno said.
Iodine is absorbed in the thyroid. Your body needs only a tiny amount. Flooding it with Iodine can lead to complications, everything from nausea, to shock. Those rushing to buy potassium Iodide pills are being warned that the non-prescription use of the substance is not a good idea.
Carolyn Matoian, the Emergency Services Nurse with the Fresno Fire Department says the reliability of the pills purchased over the counter can't be guaranteed. "When you buy pills over the counter they are often not regulated when you buy things off the internet you don't know what you're getting."
While potassium Iodide can block radioactive iodine from getting into your thyroid gland, taking it is nothing but a hazard, if there's no radioactive iodine in the air and so far there is not any evidence of Japanese radiation reaching California.
Fresno's Director of Emergency Services, Sean Johnson wants to assure the public that the situation is being closely monitored. "Right now all reports from FEMA and the state are saying there's no reason to monitor the air no reason to be worried in our city but we do have hazardous material teams that have monitoring equipment for radiation however that is not required or forecast to be required in the future."
As a precaution the Federal Emergency Management Agency is adding additional radiation monitors in California and along the entire West Coast, all the way into Alaska.