Shortly after the beginning of November 2004 was an accident at the Balakovo NPP, the locals began to massively buy iodine — in the form of an alcoholic solution, tablets, iodized salt or seaweed. Although the people were assured that no dangerous emissions were not, they continue to use iodine hoping to protect themselves from radiation. Only in reality, this "therapy" does not help, but only causes serious poisoning — were hospitalized residents of Saratov, Samara, Penza and Saransk.
Almost all of the regions of the Volga were reports that such a "prevention" is over for the locals poisoning and chemical burns. First started buying in Samara, then joined the residents of Saratov, Penza and Saransk. In a panic, people used large quantities of all iodine-containing products — from seaweed to the pharmacy alcohol solution, and for external use only accrue to iodine deficient children: they were trying to smear the head to the feet.
The reason for this panic is clear — people thought that they occurred not far from a disaster on a scale comparable to Chernobyl. But where did the view that radiation emissions from their rescue iodine?
Apparently, the fact that many of the instructions for use of iodine-containing medicines — from potassium iodide to Lugol — among other indications for the use of means "radiation protection". Further, for example, in the abstract to potassium iodide says: "start application one day before exposure to radioactive iodine and continue for 10 days. " But to understand what does this phrase mean, no one, it seems, did not — all rushed to the pharmacy.
Iodine and radiation damage, which are specified in the abstract, in fact, have very little to do with the impact that has on the body ejection radioactive substances into the environment. In theory, isotopes of iodine may be present in emissions from the accident at the nuclear power plant, but in addition to these there are many other radioactive particles.
A iodine help protect the thyroid gland during special medical examinations, in which doctors injected radioactive iodine. These procedures include in particular scintigraphy.
To dangerous iodine did not accumulate in the gland, before the procedure (for example, one day) in the body artificially create excess concentration of the "normal" of iodine, which is then maintained for some time after the study.
This allows to quickly withdraw substantially all radioactive iodine, and the concentration of the "ordinary" normalized soon after you stop taking iodine-containing drugs.
Thus, application iodine in the case of the radioactive release could not be justified from a medical point of view. In the case of Balakovo did not even have any evidence that at least
Therefore, the panic around the events at nuclear power plants was much more dangerous than the events themselves. A unit in which the accident occurred, was launched the following day.