MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Concerns over a nuclear attack have been rising steadily since the beginning of the year. That's when tensions between President Trump and North Korea came to a head in a Twitter fight over who had a better nuclear button.
The fear is prompting more people to take precautions. Troy Jones of Mooresville is offering a solution to thousands across the country.
“I’ve sold tens of thousands of tablets to almost every state," said Jones about his product, "nuke pills".
Jones had a spike in orders last month when Hawaii residents experienced 38 minutes of terror over a false nuclear alarm.
“I don’t know what happens. I just see my orders come in, they instantly come in, and all of the sudden all of these addresses to ship out to Hawaii."
We asked Jones if the back and forth bickering between the Trump administration and North Korea affected his business.
“Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t have to be a threat. He just mentions North Korea and sales go up,” Jones answered.
So what are "nuke pills"? They are made up of potassium iodide that prevents the body from absorbing radioactive iodine, one of the products of nuclear fallout.
“It can travel hundreds of miles, sometimes thousands of miles down wind, and if you inhale it or ingest it, you can get thyroid cancer.”
In order to be effective, the pills must be taken before exposure. Children are the most susceptible. That's why schools within 10 miles of a nuclear reactor stock the pills.
Anyone living within that 10-mile range is eligible for free pills. Jones has a reactor finder on his website so you can see if you are in the emergency planning zone.
“The problem is radiation doesn’t know a 10 miles boundary," Jones said.
In the past, much of what Jones sold went to businesses, schools and hospitals. Now the general public is snatching up the pills. We asked Jones if people should be stockpiling them.
“Yes, absolutely. It's cheap insurance. I would recommend one pack per person," said Jones.
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a flavored liquid version of potassium iodide for kids. Jones, whose company offers 153 radiation preparedness products, said the liquid version is already a big seller.