Humans and animals

Anti-radiation Pill

During a nuclear accident, an important part of the radioactivity is released in form of iodine-131, a major radioisotope constituent in nuclear power plants. A very high dose of potassium iodide given shortly after body exposure to radiation can minimize body damage, especially diminishing probability of thyroid cancer. The thyroid gland has the capability to absorb both radioactive and non-radioactive iodine. When non-radioactive iodine is made available in blood for absorption by the thyroid gland before exposure to radioactive iodine after nuclear accidents, the gland will become saturated with „healthy“ iodine, preventing uptake of radio-iodines by the thyroid. The pill is medicinally supplied in tablets containing 130 mg potassium iodide, each containing 100 mg iodine as iodide and 30 mg potassium. This is the recommended dose for adults in case of emergency.


Iodine and iodine preparations are used as active ingredients in antispasmodics, coronary vasodilators and neuromuscular blocking agents, or are used in the production of pharmaceuticals compounds for endocrinology, gastroenterology, parasitology, pneumology and rheumatology. Iodine is also found in intermediate molecules for the synthesis of antibiotics, corticosteroids and other drugs.

Iodinated Contrast Media

Contrast media are diagnostic agents that are introduced into the body to fill, coast or surround the structure of interest to enhance contrast in anatomic areas where there is insufficient natural contrast. Using the relative density difference of iodine versus soft tissues and fluids, iodine compounds are used as contrast media for X-ray exams of the human body.
The main X-ray procedures that use iodine contrast media are intravenous pyelography, any form of angiography, CT scan, gastro-intestinal series and cholecystography.


Iodine has a germicide action due to its capacity to penetrate quickly through the cell wall of microorganisms, causing a rupture in the structures of its proteins and nucleic acid. Applications for these products are found in hospitals, laboratories, food industries, chemical plants, cattle and poultry houses, wherever sanitation is a concern.
Iodine effectively disinfects water against bacteria, viruses, and cysts. Iodine based tablets were initially developed to disinfect small or individual water supplies in the US army during World War II. Disinfection studies of public water supplies have shown that concentrations up to 5 ppm of iodine were not deleterious to health and just 1 ppm is sufficient to safely sanitize a water supply. Commercially available iodinators control potentially dangerous organisms by passing a side stream of water through a bed of prilled iodine.