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  Saturday, January 18, 2003

 Top Stories

KI pill handouts begin
About 300 pick up potassium iodide pills in first round of distribution

Staff writer


Port Clinton residents Abigail Barker, 6, and her grandmother, Cheryl McMurray, stop by the Ottawa County Health Department to pick up their potassium iodide or KI pills.

PORT CLINTON -- Alarmed by recent news reports, Benton Township resident Alan Perry picked up a pair of KI pill packets Friday, preparing for the worst.

Perry and his wife, Carol, can now safeguard their thyroid glands against radioactivity. KI pills, or potassium iodide, help defend the thyroid in case of a nuclear accident. And the Ottawa County Health Department is distributing 140,000 pills -- free of charge -- to those living within 10 miles of Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station.

"I'm glad they're doing something about it," Perry said, foil packets in hand. "I'm kind of disheartened about all the problems they're having at Davis-Besse. Everyone seems to be blaming everybody else for what's going on out there.

"I hope that they get their act together with the (Nuclear) Regulatory Commission and get that straightened out."

The plant was in the middle of a planned shutdown in February 2002 when maintenance workers found a hole in the reactor head caused by a boric acid leak. The plant remains closed until NRC officials are satisfied that problems leading to the incident have been resolved.

County officials mailed pill coupons to about 9,000 households earlier this month. By 3:10 p.m. Friday, about 300 people had redeemed their vouchers during the health department's inaugural KI clinic, Health Commissioner Nancy Osborn said.

"Once the coupons went out the first week of January, we've been fielding quite a number of calls," Osborn said. "Potassium iodide is another prevention, in case there was an accident.

"You take your pill -- and leave."

In event of a Davis-Besse nuclear emergency, Osborn said residents should eat one pill while evacuating. Each pill provides 24 hours of thyroid gland protection, and all those within the 10-mile zone are entitled to receive two pills.

After the KI clinics end Tuesday, people can pick up pills at these pharmacies from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1:

  • Pills N' Packages, 350 Rice St., Elmore (419-862-2982).

  • IGA Community Market, 279 Water St., Oak Harbor (419-898-4891).

  • Rite Aid, 306 Water St., Oak Harbor (419-898-3911).

  • Bassett's IGA, 3994 E. Harbor Road,

    Portage Township (419-732-6300).

  • Green's Pharmacy, 200 Madison St., Port Clinton (419-732-3151).

  • The Pharm, 1848 E. Perry St., Port Clinton (419-734-5594).

  • Wal-Mart, 4070 E. Harbor Road, Portage Township (419-732-3866).

  • Rite Aid, 1626 E. Perry St., Port Clinton (419-734-5583).

  • Kroger, 2028 E. Harbor Road, Portage Township (419-734-5597).

  • Kroger, 3301 Navarre Ave., Oregon (419-691-7034).

    After Feb. 1, Osborn said pills will be available via the health department and a select list of pharmacies.

    The pills' shelf life extends through May 2007. They were made available through a Nuclear Regulatory Commission program.

    Federal Drug Administration-approved pills can also be purchased online at http://www.anbexdistributing.com,www.affordable-potassium-iodide.com/ http://www.nukepills.com/ and http://www.drugstore.com/

    For more information, call the health department at 419-734-6800 or 1-800-788-8803.

    Contact staff writer Rick Neale at 419-734-7506 or mailto:rneale@fremont.gannett.com

    Originally published Saturday, January 18, 2003

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