Profiteering From A Panic: The $1,740 Potassium Iodide Supply

With new reports showing that low trace levels of radioactive iodine-131 have been found in the rain as far away as Massachusetts, the Great Potassium Iodide Panic of 2011 continues to simmer along. But what’s wrong with that, you may ask yourself. If people are just buying a pill (or 14) to have on hand, just in case, no one’s getting hurt by that. Right?

Unfortunately for people who were heading out on short notice to do relief work in Japan, the fallout of the potassium iodide panic had serious repercussions close to home. Just ask Kellie Moore.

She volunteered to do the leg work for two different sets of people who were going directly to Sendai. One couple was going to try to evacuate frail elderly parents who’d been living there before the devastation. And a trio was going to provide disaster aid. They all needed to start taking potassium iodide pills right before they left.

With only 48 hours’ notice, finding potassium iodide in the midst of a panic was going to be a thankless job, but Kellie wanted to help. So she spent two solid days trying to find potassium iodide in the Bay Area.

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