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Ingesting Iodine Dangerous as KI Substitute...


In a future nuclear emergency here many civilians, without KI tablets, 

could poison themselves or their children by ingesting iodine products 

mistakenly thinking they were protecting themselves. This dangerous myth 

needs to be exposed far & wide by the Health Physicist community to avert 

potential future tragedies.

Since 1999 we've had the following posted at www.ki4u.com under the 

section: "Is Iodized Salt, Tincture of Iodine, Water Purification Tabs, or 

other Iodine Sources Effective?" (Also included there is the research by 

Health Physicist Ken Miller into safely utilizing topically applied 

tincture of Iodine.)


Regarding ingesting (drinking/swallowing) iodine, iodine tablets (widely 

sold for water purification), tincture of iodine, or Povidone-iodine 

solutions (like the Betadine® brand solution): Cresson H. Kearny, the 

author of Nuclear War Survival Skills, Original Edition Published 

September, 1979, by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a Facility of the U.S. 

Department of Energy (Updated and Expanded 1987 Edition) states on page 115:

Elemental (free) iodine is poisonous, except in the very small amounts in 

water disinfected with iodine tablets or a few drops of tincture of iodine. 

Furthermore, elemental iodine supplied by iodine tablets and released by 

tincture of iodine dropped into water is not effective as a blocking agent 

to prevent thyroid damage. If you do not have any potassium iodide, DO NOT 


Additionally, USP tincture of iodine contains 2% iodine and 2.4% sodium 

iodide dissolved in 50% ethyl alcohol and according to the National Academy 

of Sciences in Drinking Water and Health. Vol. 3. Washington, DC, National 

Academy Press, 1980.

Doses of 30-250 ml of tincture of iodine (about 16-130 mg of total iodine 

per kg of body weight) have been reported to be fatal.

The small typical one ounce bottle of tincture of iodine contains about one 

tablespoon or approximately 30 ml of fluid. (The larger pint bottles 

contain 473 ml.) To a small child, ingesting the small 1 ounce bottle, even 

if well diluted to make it palatable, could prove fatal.

Everyone needs to understand that all 'tincture of iodine' bottles are 

clearly marked "POISON" for a very good reason. Ingesting elemental free 

iodine, such as 'tincture of iodine', in quantities sufficient to attempt 

thyroid-blocking in a nuclear emergency is not a safe, nor an effective, 


Finally, if someone does attempt thyroid-blocking for themselves or their 

children by ingesting iodine, iodine water purification tablets, tincture 

of iodine, or Povidone-iodine solutions (like the Betadine® brand 

solution), and we are strongly advising against it, they can look forward to:

·       shock (potentially fatal lowering of blood pressure)

·       extreme thirst

·       metallic taste

·       sore teeth, gums and mouth

·       severe headache

·       fever

·       no urine output (kidney failure)

·       corrosive effects on the gastrointestinal tract

·       esophageal stricture, asphyxiation (swelling of the throat, esophagus)

·       vomiting

·       diarrhea

·       abdominal pain with internal damage

·       delirium

·       stupor

Then, be prepared to call the Poison Control center for further guidance. 

DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Give milk, cornstarch, or flour by mouth (15 gm in 

500 ml, or just over a pint of water). Continue to give milk every 15 minutes.

And, at the Emergency Room expect some or all of the following procedures 

to be performed: Gastric lavage (depending on the extent of esophageal 

injury), establish and maintain airway, be given milk every 15 minutes, and 

treatment for the symptoms.


Best Regards,

Shane Connor

KI4U, Inc.

212 Oil Patch Lane

Gonzales, TX 78629






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