potassium iodide? Some forms of iodine help your thyroid work properly. Most people get the iodine they need from foods like iodized salt or fish. The thyroid can “store” or retain only a certain amount of iodine. In the event of a radiation emergency, radioactive iodine may be released into the air. This material can be inhaled or swallowed. It can get into the thyroid gland and damage it. The damage probably won’t show for years. Children most often have thyroid damage. If you take potassium iodide, it will fill the thyroid gland. This reduces the likelihood of harmful radioactive iodine entering the thyroid gland.