Health authorities in Russia's Far East warned local residents on Friday against uncontrolled consumption of iodine-rich substances among fears of radiation fallout from Japan's quake-hit nuclear power plant.
Russia recently increased radiation monitoring measures in its Far Eastern region and officials say there is currently no evidence the radiation has spread to Russia's Pacific coast.
"Today's iodine consumption may result in poisoning," said Andrei Vasilchenkov, the health minister of the Sakhalin Region.
Local residents, he said, recently purchased from drug stores about five kilograms (11 lbs) of iodine and over 4,600 packs of potassium iodide.
Iodine is a radiation antidote, which lessens the amount of radiation the human body can absorb.
Emergency workers continue pouring water on troubled reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan to try and avert a meltdown of nuclear cores, but say progress is slow.
Fukushima has been hit a number of explosions since last week's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands.
YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, March 18 (RIA Novosti)