2009: a great year for paranoia

Leaky reactors, sabre-rattling boost sales

Critics bemoaning a lack of government support for business would do well to consider the boost US foreign policy gave one North Carolina company.

Earlier this year Nukepills.com delivered 5.4 million doses of FDA-approved ThyroShield Potassium Iodide to Kuwait’s Ministry of Health to protect its citizens from nuclear radiation. Kuwaiti officials cited the threat of a US attack on Iran’s nuclear reactor as prompting the purchase.

Nukepills.com, specialists in the niche market of radiation emergency preparedness, says that 2009 was a year of record sales due to events such as Iran’s nuclear program, nuclear plant radiation leaks, Potassium Iodide distribution programs and worries of dirty bombs. Even the Swine Flu pandemic played a role in the surge of sales.

This past fall a supply of potassium iodide tablets was distributed courtesy of the US Government to people residing within 10 miles of nuclear plants. Due to this handout consumer retail orders of Potassium Iodide increased by almost 400 percent, says Nukepills.

Numerous 2009 reports of radiation leaks at multiple nuclear plants, including Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island, spawned even more sales of the radiation-blocking drug potassium iodide. Nukepills says most online orders were from civilians not wanting to rely solely on the government for help in the event of a nuclear accident or terrorist attack.

Meanwhile, normal paranoia over a possible dirty bomb attack on New York City’s transit system prompted orders of Nukepills’ Dirty Bomb Emergency Kit by civilians and health officials in New York and other major cities. The kit includes the RADTriage Radiation Detector tested and approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The 2009 Swine Flu pandemic unexpectedly boosted the bottom line for Nukepills as well. In response to media stories of the Swine Flu Virus (H1N1), the company’s large inventory of N95 face masks, normally purchased online for protection during radiation decontamination, was depleted in just a few days.