[ RadSafe ] observations on iodized salt

grahnk at comcast.net grahnk at comcast.net
Thu Mar 24 10:36:22 CDT 2011

Since iodine is in the news, relative to Japan, I think the question you are asking is whether the iodine in in iodized table salt is radioactive.  The answer is No.   

There may be minute amounts of activity in non-lite iodized table salt, because, depending on producer, the iodine (a micronutrient) is added either as potassium iodate or iodide, or sodium iodate or iodide, which is applied as a spray in the production process, and in very small quantities   (thanks Wikipedia).  If potassium salts are used, there's some K-40, but in small amounts. 

In lite salt products, which you accurately describe as a blend of NaCl and KCl, the radioactivity is from the K-40.   All of us have comonly used lite salt products in high school radiation demonstrations or for basic radiation safety training course.    With a GM pancake probe, there should be no difference between an opened or unopened container, unless someone has been using the open container as a condiment, (or they spilled it).  the half life is quite long. 

Kelly Grahn 

Illinois Emergency Management Agency 

Division of Nuclear Safety 

opinions are mine and mine alone....yada yada.... 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Gerald Center, Jr" <john.center at wmich.edu> 
To: "The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List" <radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu> 
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:27:13 AM 
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] observations on iodized salt 

I think I didn't start out right.  And I am still not sure what I am asking. I and many others voluntarily take in radioactive food sources.  Beta and gamma emmiters with greater half lives than Iodine.  The concern is the thyroid with iodine if I am not mistaken. Does anyone have a resource I can look to,to see specifically how Iodine is absorbed and the damage it does?  John 

John G. Center, Jr. 
Radiation Safety Officer 
3922 Wood Hall 
Western Michigan University 
1903 W. Michigan Ave. 
Kalamazoo, MI  49008-5410 

Office (269) 387-5933 
Cell  (269) 744-0996 
E-mail: john.center at wmich.edu 

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