Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Panic buying of iodine in response to Japanese nuclear crisis

The following article on Channel 4 News web-site illustrates the concept of panic-buying, which I have referred to in earlier blogs.

There was also Colin Blakemore from the Medical Research Council (MRC) on the programme talking about this concept. He spoke about how while it may not be medically necessary to take iodine if one is not in the immediate vicinity of a radiation leak, it is not necessarily irrational if one considers it in the context that there is a widespread lack of public trust in the nuclear industry. Therefore, people may not always believe messages that are put out that downplay the threat of radiation contamination (even if they're true!). This is clearly a problem, but I would argue one of the public not having any trust in the nuclear industry (and perhaps also government), rather than people displaying irrational behaviour. If I thought I was at risk of nuclear contamination, then I would go straight out and get some iodine for me and my family. Thankfully, because I am based in the UK I don't feel the need to do so at the moment (but maybe I'll eat  more seaweed for a while!)   

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