Although Finnish officials say that there is no need for Finns to start self-medicating with iodine, demand for the pills increased across the country on Saturday. In some cases, merchants reported that their supplies had sold out.
Stable iodine or potassium iodine can be taken to reduce the risk of exposure to radioactive iodine. It works by increasing the total amount of iodine in the body, thereby reducing the thyroidâ€™s ability to absorb and retain any radioactive iodine to which individuals may be exposed.
Officials from Finlandâ€™s Radiation Safety Authority have emphasized that the nuclear plant explosion in Japan is no reason for Finns to begin treating themselves with iodine.
Pharmacists have also tried to convey the message, but it has been difficult to calm the rattled public.