The salt at a supermarket in Jinhua City of east China's Zhejiang province is sold out on Wednesday, March 16, 2011. [Photo: CRI Online]
Related: China Affirms Ample Salt Supply, Relieving Hoarding Panic
An expert has refuted a rumor that iodized salt can help prevent people from suffering ailments that come from radiation exposure caused by Japan's recent nuclear crisis, chinanews.com reports.
Xu Zhengqiang, director with the radioactivity monitoring center under the Ningbo environmental monitoring center, noted that the recent trend for many Chinese to buy salt in east China's Zhejiang Province is absolutely unnecessary.
He believes that average iodine content is between 20-30 mg per kg of edible salt, and the quantity is too low to prevent radioactivity.
Xu said the most effective way against radioactivity is to take an iodine pill every day, which gives the body about 100 mg of iodine.
Current monitoring results show that China's coastal provinces have not been affected by Japan's nuclear crisis, and it is unnecessary for local residents to take pills at the present time.
Starting Tuesday, supermarkets in some cities saw a buying spree of salt as a rumor claimed that Japan's nuke crisis would cause sea water pollution in China and the salt produced with such water will not be suitable for cooking.
Xu explained that monitoring data reveal that the air is at a normal level presently, and local people should not panic.
Some provinces affected by the rumor have acted to ensure a stable salt supply in the market, of which sea salt only takes a 20 percent market share, while most of the rest is mineral salt.
To ease the public unease about radioactivity, Zhejiang's health authorities have opened a hotline of 96301 that starts on Thursday to answer questions about how to avoid radiation exposure.