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Biological Warfare

Paint Pigment Prussian Blue Could Protect Citizens from a "Dirty Bomb" attack.

21 years, 3 months ago

11095  0
Posted on Mar 16, 2003, 10 a.m. By Bill Freeman

The paint pigment Prussian blue could be used to protect citizens from radiation if terrorists stage a so-called "dirty bomb" attack. At present potassium iodide is the only commonly available medication for protection against radiation, although it only helps to protect the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine, and offers no protection to other parts of the body.

The paint pigment Prussian blue could be used to protect citizens from radiation if terrorists stage a so-called "dirty bomb" attack. At present potassium iodide is the only commonly available medication for protection against radiation, although it only helps to protect the thyroid gland from radioactive iodine, and offers no protection to other parts of the body. However, Prussian blue binds to radioactive chemicals in the gut, thus meaning that the radioactivity is eliminated instead of being absorbed by the body. According to the FDA, the pigment reduces the time the body is contaminated after exposure by half. Currently, the US's only supply of Prussian Blue in pill form is at the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REACTS), an Energy Department-funded facility in Tennessee, and that supply is limited. Thus, the FDA has made the unusual step of asking drug companies to manufacture the pigment in pill form without having to prove that it is a safe or effective treatment.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.ap.org on the 31st January 2003

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