As the nuclear crisis in Japan escalates, North Americans are asking questions about radiation poisoning. They are stocking up on potassium iodide pills in record numbers, and suppliers running out of stock.
If you live in North America, you do not need potassium Iodide pills. Iodide pills essentially fill the thyroid with inert iodine, which prevents the uptake of radioactive iodine isotopes. However, there are no radioactive iodine isotopes reaching North America at this time.
No medical experts are currently suggesting that anyone in North America needs to start taking potassium iodide.