Illinois Radiation Pill Distribution Lacks Pharmacies Near Cordo - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Illinois Radiation Pill Distribution Lacks Pharmacies Near Cordova

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Illinois partnered with 64 pharmacies to help distribute Potassium Iodide.

In an effort to get anti-radiation pills to people living near nuclear power plants.

It protects people's thyroid glands if they become exposed to a certain type of radiation.

The effort is more complicated around Cordova.

Illinois mailed out vouchers to people living within the ten mile emergency planning zones surrounding each nuclear power plant.

Plotting the participating locations against a map shows none are inside the Cordova zone.

"We certainly are willing to work with other pharmacies that want to come forward and help us with that," says Illinois Emergency Management Spokesperson Patti Thompson.

She says the state decided to distribute Potassium Iodide a little differently than they did ten years ago. Relying on pharmacies and vouchers, instead of setting up a two day pickup window.

"It made it hard on people if they weren't going to be around that weekend or if they had something going on," says Thompson.

This Hartig Pharmacy in Prophetstown is one of the pharmacies in Illinois that provides the anti-radiation pills to people living within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant. Except it is farther than ten miles from the nuclear power plant zone. Residents living next to the Cordova power plant say the state should make it easier to get emergency supplies into their homes.

"If something were closer it'd be a little easier to obtain something especially, if we needed emergency pills," says Samantha Johnston.

She lives about a mile south of the Cordova facility. Her parents received the voucher but haven't redeemed it yet. They haven't had a chance to run to the pharmacy.

"It's pretty much like 20 minutes to anywhere we want to go, Clinton, Erie, Moline, it's a base of 20 minutes it takes," says Johnston.

There are pharmacies on the Iowa side of the river that are closer, but Iowa doesn't distribute Potassium Iodide pills, and declined Illinois' request to redeem the vouchers.

Johnston says they'll continue to pick up their prescriptions in Silvis. Even though it's not always easy.

"In the case of bad weather, or something anytime we go somewhere it's a day trip, we have to plan it and like it's a couple hours out of our day."

Illinois says it's distributed 250 doses of Potassium Iodide to the Cordova emergency zone already, about four percent of the total population there.

It says the anti-radiation pills are only meant to serve as a back up measure.

The main safety strategy is to evacuate people in case of a nuclear emergency.

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