Nuclear safety tablets now available at select CK municipal offices

A potassium iodide, or KI, kit is displayed at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit on April 26, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Tilbury and Wheatley residents who missed out on picking up some potassium iodide (KI) tablets last year now have a chance to grab some at their own convenience.

The distribution program launched in December 2019, but public health officials said at that time, only about six per cent of the 4,700 eligible addresses signed up to receive them.

The tablets are available to individuals in the Tilbury and Wheatley areas who live within 80 kilometres of two nuclear power plants in the United States — the Fermi 2 plant in Michigan and the Davis-Besse plant in Ohio. The tablets are meant to be taken during a nuclear event to load your thyroid gland with stable iodine, which can help to prevent the risk of thyroid cancer or other thyroid illnesses later in life.

A release from the municipality Thursday said eligible residents can now pick up the tablets anytime during normal business hours at the Tilbury Municipal Office and Wheatley Municipal Information Desk.

CK Public Health Nurse Dan Drouillard previously told Blackburn News that the implementation of the project is not an indication that a nuclear event is any more likely to occur than usual and the probability of one happening remains unlikely. He said the distribution of the tablets is strictly because of updated nuclear safety recommendations.

Municipal officials said, “any order to take the tablets would come from Provincial authorities and would include other instructions to follow at the time.” Any eligible resident who picks up the tablets will receive a handbook of instructions on when to take them and how to store them.

Some residents in Rondeau Provincial Park who live within an 80-kilometre radius of the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Ohio are also eligible to receive the KI tablets.

The distribution to those addresses is expected to take place in the spring “once cottagers return and are able to ensure proper storage of the tablets.”

Anyone who wants more information on KI tablets or the distribution program is encouraged to contact the municipality or the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit.

You can also read more information on the program by clicking here.