Surgeon General: ‘Appropriate’ To Buy Radiation Pills, If You Can Find Any

'Out of stock.'So, this is going badly: “Fire breaks out again at Fukushima’s No. 4 reactor.” That’s a new fire. And U.S. surgeon general Regina Benjamin is in the San Francisco Bay Area, telling the teevee news cameras that it’s maybe a good idea to get those Potassium Iodide tablets … which are sold out everywhere. “Oh it’s definitely appropriate,” she says when asked if it’s wise to stock up on the thyroid-protecting tablets. “We have to be prepared.”

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

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  1. Lascauxcaveman

    Unless she's going to wear the sailor suit (like C. Everett Koop), why should I believe a word she says?

    1. Mahousu

      It's true, a Sailor Moon suit would be "appropriate." (And a bit repulsive, but let's not dwell on that.)

  2. Radioactive

    Ken, I would read past "READ MORE," but I'm off to CVS to hoard me up some Radioactive protection, if you know what I mean.

    1. Extemporanus

      I'd recommend hiding in a pot o' gold, but the abnormally high rate of birth defects in the leprechaun community leads me to believe that they may not provide adequate protection against harmful levels of radiation.

    1. Gopherit

      We have quite the record for stupid, don't we? Also, I can't stress this enough: 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11, and 9/11.

      1. Radioactive

        Right, 911, the ultimate overredaction,
        The thing about all these examples is that each of them has little, if any, positive effect. Mostly they cost us big time in the end.

      1. PocketsTheClown

        That one was a hit in Miami, everyone carrying all duct tape in their purses "just in case!"

        1. GhostBuggy

          Jesus Christ, that duct tape thing pissed me off. My mother-in-law, the sweetest woman in the world who volunteers at zoos and museums, came over with a bundle of that stuff because she was scared by our idiotic media fear-mongering. We took it to be polite, but reminded her that we would probably suffocate if we cut the house off to air, just to put in her brain that she shouldn't do it, either.

          Bless her, and fuck the 24-hour news cycle.

    2. JoeBiteme

      The realtor handling rentals of our house in Flagstaff referred to her new pistol as a "Loughner Model". #FACEPALM

        1. JoeBiteme

          For the first time in years I literally didn't know what to say. All I could muster was, “She's a good friend of ours, it's a tragic situation” to which she responded “well, yeah”. FML

          1. kissawookiee

            That knocked the snark clean outta me. I think would still be standing there, weeks later, jaw on floor, saying WHAAAAAAA….?


      1. PocketsTheClown

        I'll get back to you on that one. Which makes me think… why don't they put Ibuprofen in Hendrick's gin?

  3. Worthly[♬♪♬♪♫♪♬]Skum

    Nuclear scientist on Rachel Maddow just said I tabs a waste of time, since primary avenue for human absorbtion is via cow's milk. Will post link if can figure out how to do it.

    1. Worthly[♬♪♬♪♫♪♬]Skum

      Found a transcript. Scroll down to interview w/ David Brenner (not the comedian):

      MADDOW: In terms of the broader population, and thinking about what might be a manageable amount of radioactive exposure—I realize it is a fluid situation. We don‘t yet know how much radiation is going to be released into the atmosphere. But one of the things that has been discussed is the distribution of iodine tablets to try protect people from thyroid cancer.

      Why is that important? And how important is that?
      Advertise | AdChoices

      BRENNER: Well, in my view, it‘s not important at all. It‘s not actually the appropriate way to deal with the issue of iodine-131. The way iodine gets—radioactive iodine gets into the body is a crowd of iodine falls to the ground. Cows eat grass which has got that radioactive iodine in it. The milk that they produce has radioactive iodine in it, and we drink the milk.

      So, the simple way to avoid the iodine problem is simply not to drink the milk and that works. It doesn‘t work with all the other radio isotopes. For the special case of iodine, simply don‘t drink the milk.

      MADDOW: So, that‘s—that‘s not like you‘re using cows and milk production as an example of one way in which all different ways you can be contaminated. That‘s the specific route?

      BRENNER: It‘s the specific route of iodine. Yes.

      MADDOW: OK.

      BRENNER: So, iodine pills, they‘re not going to do harm, but they‘re not really going to do any good either. The real way is to stop people drinking the milk.

          1. ifthethunderdontgetya

            I don't think he's suggesting that we get the iodine radiation poisoning through the beef cattle —> anusburger route, Ken.

            P.S. Congrats on the 102 pee points. You're catching up to me, you monster!

          2. NYNYNY

            I think, it's like a metaphor. Like he's trying to say something more important than just about radiation, but it's like, that you know, everything comes from everything else.

          3. Negropolis

            Most milk cows are fed and milked indoors for most of their lives, anyway, so it doesn't matter which type of cows we're talking about.

          4. Gopherit

            That's why we have to get to the dairy cows now before they are contaminated? Won't someone think of the children? (sally struthers imagery intentional)

    2. OneYieldRegular

      You might try looking up the some of the lists put out in Europe after Chernobyl (I'm too busy wolfing down handfuls of sea salt to do it myself at the moment); anyway, lots of things like: "avoid dairy products and mushrooms and reindeer meat, wash vegetables a gazillion times, wipe down all surfaces before putting any food on them, don't ingest ANYthing that came from the other side of the Alps," etc.

    3. Worthly[♬♪♬♪♫♪♬]Skum

      I realize now I'm on a fool's errand. Given two possible approaches to a problem, real Americans will always take the one that involves more eating.

  4. Bonzos_Bed_Time

    But she's not mentioning plastic tarps and duct tape. Why does she want the terrorists to win?

    1. KenLayIsAlive

      Scott Walker just gave an announcement saying that the best protection is to coat your house with Georgia-Pacific toilet paper and dixie cups. Hmmm…

    2. finallyhappy

      I remember the idiot in Kensington , Md who used tarps and tape and created a room that would ahve suffocated here.

  5. Troubledog

    It's obviously because the job killing Obama administration has regulated and taxed the iodide industry into oblivion.


  6. Rambone

    I can get the same benefit by eating a couple pounds of iodized salt every day, right?

    Fuck it, no time to think . . . Gonna get myself a funnel and the Costco-sized sack of Morton salt, lickety-split.

  7. Schmannnity

    I yearn for the simpler days when Surgeons General discouraged smoking and encouraged masturbation.

  8. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Strangely enough, Sharia Law states that you become a Muslim as soon as you take Potassium Iodine.

    1. undeterredbyreality

      I'm thinkin' that law would bring in more converts if it said you had to become a Muslin before you could take Potassium Iodine. What fun watching the Teatards making their decision: Die horribly or abandon Jeebus?

      1. doloras

        The thing is that it's very easy to become a Muslin. All you have to do is say "ašhadu ʾan lā ʾilāha ʾilla (A)llāh, wa ʾašhadu ʾanna Muḥammada(n) rasūlu (A)llāh" (three times fast, if you're so inclined). Nothing says you can't take it back later and re-accept Jeebus into your heart.

  9. Blendergoathead

    Wonder if I could get some of those fancy tablets in exchange for all the Krugerrands I stockpiled for Y2K.

  10. gef05

    As much as I love cows – they are silly and gentle creatures – I do enjoy them cooked until they are just a little pink, with a dash of salt and hot mustard to finish.

    So yes. Yes, I'm in.

  11. The_Great_Gazoo

    Frankly, in the event of such a crisis, I would rather have spent my money on liquor.

  12. genxr

    In your professional opinion, doctor, would you say it's time to crack open our neighbors' skulls and feast on the goo inside?

  13. Extemporanus

    Good news, everyone!

    UR-486 (aka "The Day After" pill) is available without a prescription in the lower left-hand cabinet of your doctor's examining room, right next to the cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol.

    1. XOhioan

      I thought I was the only one who has swiped medical supplies out of the examining room. Only once, honest–tape to hold my surgical drain.

        1. XOhioan

          Even lovelier to look at. Do a Google image search on "Jackson-Pratt drain" and pretend what you see is just strawberry Jello.

  14. Salam Bombay

    When I moved to the socialist hell hole of Switzerland (they have socialist health care), I got a packet of potassium iodide tablets along with my work permit from the local municipality. But like an idiot, I lost the packet when I moved from Switzerland to the other communist hell hole – Holland.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      You're lucky you got out of there before it became the northwestern frontier of the European Caliphate (assuming you are not still in Holland).

    2. Crank_Tango

      what did you get when you moved to holland? anything gouda?

      I have a buddy that recently made the opposite move…

  15. XOhioan

    For fuck sakes, dumb sailor-suit lady–people who are getting medical treatment need this. Not cable news thumbsuckers, who are exactly the type of people who will buy out all the potassium iodide on the market.

  16. UW8316154

    I'm in Seattle and will be one of the first in the country to get a radiation shower. Should I just go to California, lay out in the sun and drink martinis? If I'm going to be subject to radiation coming down from the skies, I'd rather be dry and warm than wet and cold when it happens. And drunk. Very drunk.

    1. Crank_Tango

      well i don't see any sun here in norcal, so wet and cold it is, but also pretty stoned, so there's that.

  17. harry_palmer

    So isn't the scientist on Maddow basically asking, should we all take iodine pills, or should we just accept our fate and everybody get naked and fuck? That's what I'm hearing.

  18. OneYieldRegular

    Is she serious? Speaking her mind like that? I mean, how long until she joins P. J. Crowley in the unemployment line?

  19. Ken Layne

    That blog looks sketchier than Wonkette!

    Go to WebMD or somesuch if you are concerned or considering taking these pills. But they will not do you any good if there's no, uh, radioactive iodide radiation stuff radiating on you!

  20. edgydrifter

    I heard autoerotic asphyxiation is sure-fire protection against radiation poisoning. You catch that, concern trolls? Break out the extension cords and get cranking. Oh, don't worry, I'll keep an eye on those pills you're hoarding.

  21. UW8316154

    Oh jesus christ this is not going well. It exploded again and the entire fucking thing is on fire.

    1. UW8316154

      FLASH: TEPCO says it is considering dispersing boric acid over Daiichi No.4 plant from a helicopter.

      At this point, I think the most constructive thing I can do to help the world right now is go out and have a couple drunk random hookups. Anyone with me?

      1. HistoriCat

        Boric acid won't put out that fire but it will stop the cockroaches from getting in. The Japanese are just trying to save the world from giant mutant cockroaches now.

  22. mumbly_[redacted]

    Note also, if with considerable irony, that dried nori and other seaweed products are also a good source of uncontaminated iodine, in a pinch.

    Probably way cheaper, also, too, also.

    1. mumbly_[redacted]

      Umm, Dear Mister Downfister. By Downfisting my Important Public Service Advisory about the utility of dried seaweed as a source of uncontaminated Iodine in case of radiological emergency, you are COSTING HUMAN LIVES. (::removes eyeglasses::)

      Downfist me all you want, SIR (::puts on eyeglasses::) but their blood is on your hands, SIR (::removes eyeglasses::).

      1. Radioactive

        Who is downfisting on this thread? A Radiation Oncologist? Jeez.
        How petty can you get?

      2. Mumbletypeg

        This little soliloquy brought tears to my eyes from laughing
        *(removes glasses, dabs at eyes with hankie)

    2. Bonzos_Bed_Time

      Just had me an elitist California roll 30 minutes ago!

      Infused with iodine for her pleasure.

    1. The_Great_Gazoo

      Has Ohio's status as a non-Japan-earthquake-impact zone been downgraded? Are we in the no-fly zone?

    2. Negropolis

      Might be a good idea if you live in or near Cleveland. Hell, you have to get shots before you can go to Cleveland.

  23. AntonovBureau

    Big Up to Big Pharma!

    I was wondering when the next 'Swine' Flu would be invented. I thought it would be Goat Flu or Camel Flu, but I never thought it would be Nookleear Flu

  24. DownFist Troll

    I live on the east coast. Should i bother panicking? Or should i just jump straight into getting drunk?

  25. fuflans

    I will be very pissed if the world does end in may. Not so much because the world ends but because the wingnuts will just NEVER shut up.

  26. mayor_quimby

    Don't we have some sort of 'Superman' for this sort of thing? I would think with all the warfightin' money we've spent in the last 10 years, surely we could have built one by now and sent him over there to blow icy-breath on the reactors. Shit, what are we paying you for anyway, DARPA. Think outside the box of, because that box is filled with awfulness.

  27. PublicLuxury

    Oh, Son of a bitch. Here we go. This is a liberal media conspiracy against Michele Bachmann

  28. jonzin

    Everyone just leave California and settle in west Texas. There is plenty of room and maybe that would make Texas a little less scary. Of course they could also throw you in prison and execute you for no real reason. Maybe it's best to stay in California and deal with the fallout.

  29. pollosmoky

    Not to mention the Capitol Police telling people to "run for their lives" during the evacuation caused by a stray plane in D.C. airspace.

  30. marinmaven

    Are the Japanese panicking? No. They are being reasonable, orderly, helpful, and incredibly noble — and they are at ground zero folks. Americans are thousands of miles away across the Pacific Ocean freaking like it is happening to them. Maybe instead of hoarding Potassium Iodide tablets, we should…i don't know… make sure our Japanese friends get them in the next relief shipment.

  31. Guppy06

    People, health care is a contentious enough issue in this country as it is. Do you really think America could handle having a Surgeon General that actually knows what they're doing?

  32. AKHottie

    HaH I bot the pillz after 9/11 [drink]. Finally paying off! Restore my shrinking IRA fund [drink]. Must clear tables now and say g'nite.

  33. AKHottie

    Flu shots. We all need flu shots. For pig flu. Everyone. Get them now. Or die. Or maybe bird death. Pig death or human death or bird death. You decide. ZOMG WE WILL DIE !!11!l98!!

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