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News Release

Public invited to attend KI pills distribution community information sessions

WHITBY, ON October 08, 2015 - Two community information sessions will be held in Durham Region to provide area residents with an opportunity to get more information about the potassium iodide (KI) pills distribution program. The first session will be held in the Clarington area, Oct. 21 at Clarington Beech Centre, 26 Beech Ave., Bowmanville. The second will take place Oct. 22 at the Pickering Nuclear Information Centre, 1675 Montgomery Park Rd., Pickering. Both sessions will be held from 5 to 9 p.m.

“We realize that residents may have questions about the recent distribution of KI pills in the areas around the Darlington and Pickering Nuclear Generating Stations,” said Ken Gorman, Director, Environmental Health with Durham Region Health Department. “As a result, two community information sessions have been scheduled to allow residents to meet with staff from both Durham Region and Ontario Power Generation to discuss any concerns.”

In early September, Durham Region homes and businesses within the primary zones (10 kilometres) of the Region’s two nuclear generating stations, received a letter from the Region’s Medical Officer of Health about the distribution of KI pills. Ads also appeared in local newspapers and on billboards in the primary zones to help promote this initiative. Distribution of KI pills to all homes and businesses within 10 kilometres of the Darlington and Pickering Nuclear Generating Stations began later that month.

Changes outlined by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) now require that all homes and businesses within 10 kilometres of a nuclear generating station be provided with KI pills by 2016, in the very unlikely event of a nuclear emergency involving the release of radioactive iodine.

A serious nuclear accident is extremely unlikely and would likely take many hours and days to unfold. The Pickering Nuclear Generating Station has operated for 40 years without a serious accident; the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station has operated for 25 years, also without a serious accident.

KI is a stable iodine salt, effective in reducing the risk of thyroid cancer in the event of a radioactive iodine release. The pills had previously been available free of charge to the public at select pharmacies in Durham Region, and to all health care facilities, long-term care homes, child care centres and emergency service providers within the primary zone. The CNSC has changed the requirements due to increased safety standards.

The pills should only be taken when instructed to do so by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health in the event of a nuclear accident.

For more information about the campaign, visit preparetobesafe.ca. For additional information about the KI pills distribution program in Durham Region, please call the Health Department’s Environmental Help Line at 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613.

 

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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Glendene Collins - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999 or glendene.collins@durham.ca

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

For more information, please contact Health Department.