(RNN) - A social media exchange between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week has stirred a frenzy in the sale of a product that protects against radiation, according to a Kaiser Health News report on NPR's website Wednesday.
The sale of potassium iodide rose sharply in the days following the Twitter exchange between the two world leaders over who had the bigger ‘nuclear button,’ according to a top supplier out of North Carolina.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
"On Jan. 2, I basically got in a month's supply of potassium iodide and I sold out in 48 hours," Troy Jones, 53, who runs Nukepills.com, told Kaiser Health News.
Jones said he shipped about 140,000 doses of potassium iodide in a two-day period. He said he typically would send out about 8,400 doses to private individuals.
Other suppliers also told NPR they saw demand for the product increase.
Potassium Iodide also known as KI protects the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency warned that people should take the drug only at the advice of public health or emergency management officials as there are health risks associated with taking the drug.
The product is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is available and no prescription is required.
Not to quell nuclear fears, the CDC announced a seminar on nuclear preparedness on Jan. 16, as part of it's monthly webcast on public health discussions.
"While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps," the CDC said in a statement. "Despite the fear surrounding such an event, planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness."
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