By Dr. Paul Ehrlich
The false idea of a connection between iodine and shellfish allergies has surfaced again, this time in the context of Japanese nuclear reactor problems. Pharmacies on the West Coast of the US are reporting runs on supplies of potassium iodide, which is similar to table salt, and can be used in the wake of radiation exposure. Reuters reported the run was happening, “even as public health officials noted that the drug can be dangerous to people with allergies to shellfish or thyroid problems.”
As with the phony warnings about x-ray dyes, which I blogged about months ago, this is another urban myth. People with thyroid problems may have troubles, but shellfish allergy doesn’t have anything to do with it.
We wish the people of Japan well in their dark hours and days.