Potassium Iodide Tablets, Table Salt See Soaring Demand, Price Gouging

Potassium iodide shortages and price gouging are an effect of huge sudden demand spurred by Japanese nuclear dangers
Potassium iodide shortages and price gouging are an effect of huge sudden demand spurred by Japanese nuclear dangers

Millions of Americans live near 104 nuclear power plants operating in 31 states, but MSNBC reports only 22 of those states have amassed potassium iodide tablets, or "K1," "to be taken by residents within 10 miles of power plants in an emergency." Watching the nuclear crisis unfold in Fukushima, Japan, consumers worldwide have begun taking preparedness into their own hands.

As a result, the price of the previously inexpensive pills has soared dramatically, and some vendors put a premium on dwindling supplies. Troy Jones, owner of North Carolina-based website NukePillstold MSNBC he sold out of 50,000 doses of the pills in two days and has been receiving orders every 30 seconds. He currently has a backlog of more than 3,000 orders.