It is said the iodine supplement can protect the body from radiation. It created a buzz and people bought potassium iodide in haze. Drug stores that sell the supplement got out of stock.
To make the things clear, iodine can only protect the body within three hours from the time of radiation exposure. Taking it as preventive measure will do more harm than good. Excessive intake is dangerous. Besides, it cannot protect the whole body, only the thyroid gland.
In amidst of tragedy some cold blooded individuals are still thinking for themselves. Scattering wrong statement for profits.
Milk and spinach from Fukushima, Japan are found to have radiation contamination. After testing, milk that is 20 kilometers away from partially wrecked nuclear power plant, has 131 iodine and 137 cesium. Cesium is related to development of certain cancer types. More toxic than excessive iodine intake (Sorry! The unit of measure was not indicated). Spinach – 60 kilometers away from plant – also found to exceed iodine limit.
Radiation is dangerous. This means that foods contaminated with radiation are also dangerous. The transfer of agricultural products from Fukushima and other affected provinces were halted.
Radiation leaks affect all sort of living things including humans. From dose of one sievert and up. From a nominal symptoms of nausea and vomiting to a death within 24 hours depending on level of exposure. Exposure lower than one sievert is considered harmless.
Maybe they should study the effects of long term low-level exposure.
I tried to find effects of radiation on plants. I only found generals such alteration of chemical reaction. Maybe increase in iodine and cesium production is an example.
I finally found why they are concerned about iodine contamination. That is a radioactive iodine:
(WHO)Radioactive iodine can be released during nuclear emergencies. If breathed in or swallowed, it will concentrate in the thyroid gland and increase the risk of thyroid cancer. Among persons exposed to radioactive iodine, the risk of thyroid cancer can be lowered by taking potassium iodide pills, which helps prevent the uptake of the radioactive iodine.