If you live, work, or attend school within a 10-mile radius of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Lacey Township, potassium iodide (KI) tablets can stave off radiation until you evacuate if anything at the power station goes awry. And if you refresh your supply at the Ocean County Health Department's August 29 distribution at Lacey Township High School, you can get free health screenings along with the free pills.

Potassium Iodide tablets (Ocean Co. Health Department)
Potassium Iodide tablets (Ocean Co. Health Department)

The clinic runs from 12 until 4 PM. Health department staffers will measure blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels, assess risk of stroke and offer advice about medication management.

As if that isn't enough, OCHD has enlisted experts to discuss drug and alcohol abuse prevention, environmental health, emergency preparedness, communicable diseases, and resources to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Folks with prescription medications that they no longer need can bring them to the clinic, and deposit them in a prescription drop box on site.

The most recent KI clinic drew more than 820 residents, and nearly 6,000 tablets were dispensed, according to Ocean County Freeholder and Board of Health Liaison Gerry Little. Tomorrow's session is designed to illustrate the broader scope of services that the Health Department offers.

OCHD Public Information Officer Brian Lippai offered a reminder that the KI tablets are for residents who either have none, or whose supplies have outlived their life spans. The pills, for 24 hours after ingestion, protect the thyroid, where radiation finds its easiest route into the human body.

"The KI clinic is one of many types of clinics the health department provides throughout the year," LIppai said. Many people may be unaware that we provide these clinics and the many other valuable resources and services. That is why we are holding this special event."

The clinic is open to inhabitants of Barnegat Light, Barnegat Township, Beachwood, Beach Haven, Berkeley Township, Harvey Cedars, Island Heights, Lacey Township, Long Beach Township, Ocean Gate, Ocean Township (Waretown), Pine Beach, Seaside Park, Ship Bottom, South Toms River, Stafford Township, Surf City and Toms River.

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