What is Potassium Iodide?Potassium Iodide Powder, also known as Potassium Salt of Hydriodic Acid, Iodic Acid Potassium Salt, Potassium Monoiodide, and Knollide, has the chemical formula KI. It appears as a white crystalline powder, odorless, and is soluble in water at ambient conditions. KI is added to table salt to make it "iodized." Potassium Iodide is a salt of stable (non-radioactive) iodine that can protect the thyroid gland from radiation injury by preventing the absorption of radioactive iodine. The thyroid gland is the most radioactive iodine-sensitive organ in the human body and needs appropriate protection.
Potassium Iodide Tablets for Radiological Events
Potassium iodide tablets, when taken in time and at correct dosages, can block the thyroid gland's uptake of radioactive iodine, thus reducing the risk of thyroid cancers and other associated diseases caused by exposure to radioactive iodine. During a radiological emergency, potassium iodide serves as a special protective measure to reduce risk of radionuclides uptake. When potassium iodide is ingested, it is absorbed by the thyroid gland and saturates it. This prevents accumulation of radioactive iodines in the thyroid gland. Potassium iodide provides protection for approximately 48 hours and during that time, any radioactive iodine encountered will be removed by the body. However, it is only effective if radioactive iodine is released from a "dirty" bomb or nuclear power plant.
Other Uses of Potassium IodidePotassium iodide is also used in iodination of table salt and treating drinking water. Iodized salt helps regulate heart rate, blood pressure, and electrolyte levels in the body. It also aids the body in burning fat deposits. In the lab, potassium iodide is used for titration purposes to provide quantitative analyses, spectroscopy, and in food applications. KI is also widely used as a starch indicator to determine the presence of starch in a compound. Let us know in the comment section how you use potassium iodide!
Shelf Life of Potassium Iodide
All drug products have an expiration date, and as such, the manufacturer needs to provide one on the packaging. The typical shelf life of potassium iodide tablets are around 5-6 years, however, some producers have a 10 year shelf life. Since KI tablets are inherently stable, over time, they are still effective. The FDA has published a guide on shelf life extension and have found that over the course of many years, the active ingredient and components in potassium iodide tablets do not show significant chemical degradation or interaction with the container. This is all contingent upon following manufacturers' recommendations for storage. Since potassium iodide is a hygroscopic compound, meaning it is prone to absorb moisture in the air, it should be stored in an environment that is air tight.