One of my freshman year college roommates moved to Tokyo shortly after graduating, and eventually settled there, married, had kids. There’s a mailing list in which people from my residential college keep in touch, and he used it to let us know that he and his family were OK after the earthquake.
Tokyo is less than 130 miles from the damaged reactors. Some of us suggested he get some potassium iodide pills, but by the time it became clear that the Japanese government had underplayed the size of the crisis and he decided to look into a local supply, there were none available. So we’re sending him some, hoping FedEx will be delivering in Tokyo, and that customs will let them through. (They were not easy to find online, even the US suppliers are selling out as people here do panic buying.)
A small patch of tincture of iodine or providian- iodine placed on the skin, ( back or thigh to be inconspicous) the size of the persons hand will also absorb through the skin and lead to the thyroid, helping to ensure that the radioactive iodine is not taken up, but is flushed out through the normal body processes.
The potassium iodine pills are better, but if not available, that’s a good substitute.
For small children, break the pill up, use a portion per body mass vs an adult, and mix in with their peanut butter sandwich so they take it. In juice it may have a metalic taste and they may not like it.
As a native Floridian, I was always raised to just look to the sprinkler system…artesian well water, I was taught, cannot be irradiated. In fact, this was one of the many tips we all learned while reading “Alas Babylon” as required fare…
A very brief search does suggest there are artesian wells in Japan, but the only ones that seem to pop up also tend to be sacred in nature…I suppose that’s a dilemma for another time.