York County residents living near nuclear power plants can receive free potassium iodide tablets from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Potassium iodide helps protect the thyroid gland against the harmful effects of radioactive iodine that may be released during a radiological emergency.
The tablets will be distributed Thursday, Aug. 8 at 14 locations around the state, the department said.
In York County, residents can get tablets from 2 to 7 p.m. at Fairview Township Fire Department, 340 Lewisberry Road in New Cumberland; Goldsboro Municipal Building, 53 N. York St.; and Peach Bottom Community Center, 5 Pendyrus St., Delta.
The tablets are for people who live, work or go to school within a 10-mile radius of a nuclear power plant.
In Pennsylvania, the five plants are: Peach Bottom Power Station in York County; Beaver Valley Power Station in Beaver County; Limerick Generating Station, Montgomery County; Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Luzerne County; and Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station, Dauphin County.
The state is issuing four 65-milligram tablets per person. People can pick up tablets for relatives or residents unable to get them on their own. No identification is required to get the tablets, said Penny Kline, a department of health spokeswoman.
Directions, too: Residents also will receive directions on how to store the tablets and under what conditions the tablets should be taken, she said.
Anyone who is not allergic to potassium iodide can take the tablets. The tablets are safe for pregnant women,
women who are breastfeeding, people on thyroid medicine, and children and infants. People who are unsure about taking potassium iodide should consult a doctor
The tablets should only be taken when directed by state health officials and the governor, as not all radiological releases involve radioactive iodine.
Last year, 12,800 tablets were given out in the one-day distribution program in August 2012, Kline said. The public also can get free tablets any time at county and municipal health departments or state health centers.
Availability: York County residents can get potassium iodide tablets between 2 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at these sites:
-- Fairview Township Fire Department, 340 Lewisberry Road in New Cumberland.
-- Goldsboro Municipal Building, 53 N. York St.
-- Peach Bottom Community Center, 5 Pendyrus St., Delta.
For information, call the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-724-3258, or visit its website at www.health.state.pa.us.
--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.