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CONSUMERLAB.COM REVIEWS RADIOPROTECTIVE IODINE PILLS IN RESPONSE TO TERRORIST THREATS
Quality of Products is High, But Local Access is Poor

WHITE PLAINS, NY June 25, 2002 In response to the threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. nuclear facilities, ConsumerLab.com, an evaluator of health and nutrition products, today released a Product Review of Potassium Iodide/Potassium Iodate (Radioprotective Agents). These supplements protect the thyroid gland from the effects of radioactive iodine in the event of a nuclear accident, drastically reducing the risk of thyroid cancer. President Bush recently raised the national importance of potassium iodide (KI), citing current obstacles to an effective emergency distribution of KI among the reasons for his proposed Department of Homeland Security.

Because radioprotective iodine products are only effective if taken before or very shortly after exposure, people would most likely turn to government agencies and local pharmacies to get them in the event of an emergency. However, ConsumerLab.com found that most neighborhood pharmacies, even in areas near nuclear facilities, do not routinely stock these products. Some pharmacies will special order the products but require a prescription to do so ­ even though the products are not classified as prescription drugs. Using the Internet, however, ConsumerLab.com was able to purchase five different tablet products and one powdered product. The price per daily adult dose ranged from 18 cents to 66 cents for tablet products and was 2 cents per day for the powder.

All six of the products passed ConsumerLab.com's testing comparing favorably to test results of other popular supplements tested by the company, of which one-quarter have not passed. All of the products contained the labeled amounts of active ingredient and the tablet products were able to disintegrate properly in solution necessary for absorption by the body.

"Despite there being good products on the market, in a real emergency, neither government agencies nor local pharmacies seem ready to rapidly get radioprotective iodine to those who will need it," concluded Tod Cooperman, MD, President of ConsumerLab.com. "In light of terrorist threats and because radioactive iodine is carried by winds, individuals living within 50 miles of a nuclear facility should keep some pills on hand, particularly if they have children who are most sensitive to the effects of radioactive iodine." Some municipalities are now making one or two tablets available to residents, although they must live within 10 miles of a reactor to qualify.

The list of products that passed the review (as well as information about their costs, relative benefits/disadvantages, dosing, and where they can be purchased) is now available at www.consumerlab.com to ConsumerLab.com subscribers. Also available are ConsumerLab.com's reviews of other important vitamins, supplements, and nutrition products, as well as a comprehensive natural products encyclopedia. Other reviews scheduled for release in coming months include omega-3 and 6 fatty acids from evening primrose and flaxseed, potassium supplements, garlic, probiotics, and sexual enhancement supplements. ConsumerLab.com's Guide to Buying the Best Vitamins and Supplements is scheduled for publication later this year.

ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held and based in White Plains, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. Individual subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online. Parties interested in purchasing group subscriptions, technical reports, or requesting testing of additional products may contact Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at lisa.sabin@consumerlab.com.

Copyright ConsumerLab.com, LLC, 2002. All rights reserved.



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