Why should I take stable iodine tablets?

This animation explains when and why you should take iodine tablets after a nuclear accident. Taking iodine tablets is one of the government’s measures to protect people. The others are evacuation and sheltering. This prevents too much radioactive material getting into people’s bodies. Incidentally, the risk of a nuclear accident is very small.

On-screen title: What do I use iodine tablets for? An animation.)

VOICE-OVER: Why should I take iodine tablets?

(A blister pack of iodine pills slides out of a box of medicine.)

Taking iodine tablets protects you against the harmful effects of radioactive iodine,
which can be released in major nuclear accidents.
Inhaled radioactive iodine is absorbed by the thyroid gland.
This increases the risk of thyroid cancer.

(The medicine box appears next to the figure.)

Taking iodine tablets at the right time saturates the thyroid gland with iodine.
The thyroid gland then absorbs less radioactive iodine.
Iodine tablets are especially effective for children.
The tablets have no added value for people over 40,
indeed they may have a slightly greater risk of side effects.

(A nuclear power plant appears next to the family with the tekst 'under 18 years of age' above it.)

Further away from nuclear accidents, children aged up to 18
may be advised to take iodine tablets,
as may pregnant women of all ages, to protect their unborn children.
Nearer to nuclear accidents, there may be more radioactive iodine in the air.
Here, adults aged 40 or below who live twenty kilometres from nuclear power plants
may also be advised to take stable iodine tablets.
In October 2017, the government distributed boxes of stable iodine tablets
to children and adults aged up to 40
who live twenty kilometres from nuclear power plants
and to households with children within a radius of a hundred kilometres.

(A blister pack of iodine pills slides out of a box of medicine.)

Do not take the stable iodine tablets until the government instructs you to do so.

(The box is put into a medicine cabinet with other medicines.)

So, always keep them in the same, familiar place.

(Two figures stand in a control room.)


Various security systems keep the risk of a nuclear accident as low as possible.
However, should something happen,
everything will be done to limit the release of radioactive substances.

(The Dutch coat of arms, next to: Authority for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection. The screen turns dark green and white. On-screen text: For more information, visit: www.anvs.nl. www.waaromkrijgikjodiumtabletten.nl.)


More information: www.anvs.nl.