Iodine pills in short supply after Finnish directive update | Economic news
HELSINKI (AP) — Many Finnish pharmacies ran out of iodine tablets on Wednesday, a day after the Nordic country’s health ministry recommended households buy a single dose in case of a radiation emergency amid growing fears of a nuclear event due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“An accident at a nuclear power plant could release radioactive iodine into the environment, which could accumulate in the thyroid gland,” Finland’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health said on Tuesday.
Pharmacies in many places in Finland announced on Wednesday that they had run out of iodine tablets as citizens rushed to buy the drugs. The drug wholesaler also said their stocks had been emptied.
The ministry said the recommendation of iodine tablets is limited to people between the ages of 3 and 40 because of the potential risks that radiation exposure poses to this age group.
The ministry did not mention Russia’s war in Ukraine and did not reveal where such nuclear accidents could potentially take place. He said only that he had revised the guidelines on the use of iodine tablets to match the latest recommendations on iodine set by the World Health Organization.
However, Petteri Tiippana, director general of the Finnish Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Authority, told Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat that there was a connection between the update and the situation in Ukraine.
“Yes, the war in Ukraine influenced the update of the instructions,” Tiippana told the newspaper. “People need to have up-to-date instructions when needed.”
In the event of a radiological emergency, sheltering indoors is the main way for people to protect themselves from dangerous radiation, the Finnish Ministry of Health has pointed out.
Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
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