A white crystalline solid that looks and tastes like table salt, potassium iodide has a boiling point of 1330 degrees Celsius. It is a commonly used additive to salt to help prevent iodine deficiency.
Iodine is a mineral that is essential for human health. When the body doesn’t have enough iodine it causes the thyroid gland to produce too much of the hormone thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). The hormone helps regulate your mood and other body functions.
The thyroid can also become overactive and cause weight gain and muscle weakness. When this happens, the doctor may prescribe anti-thyroid drugs.
Potassium iodide is used to treat hyperthyroidism and protect the thyroid gland from radiation exposure in the case of certain types of radiopharmaceuticals. It also is used to prepare the thyroid gland for surgery.
When potassium iodide is mixed with an oxidizing agent, it changes to potassium iodate. This is a process that can be done in a lab setting or at home with a few simple steps.
How is this process made?
The most common method of making this compound involves using a hot aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide and adding an excess of powdered charcoal. The iodine is then absorbed through the charcoal. This process is used to make a wide variety of compounds for industrial purposes.
It is also commonly used as a fluorescence quencher. It can be found in photography, biomedical research and pharmaceutical applications. It is also used to prevent iodine deficiency in some populations that get very little seafood.