The Pennsylvania Department of Health is stepping up efforts to protect people who live near nuclear power plants.

The health department will distribute free potassium iodide tablets on Aug. 8 to those who live, work or attend school within a 10-mile radius of one of the state's five nuclear power plants.

Potassium iodide, or KI, can help protect the thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine when taken as directed during radiological emergencies, health officials said.

Each adult will receive four 65-milligram tablets; children will be given smaller doses based on their age. Individuals can pick up KI tablets for other family members or those who are unable to pick them up on their own.

For those within 10 miles of the Limerick Generating Station in Montgomery County, the tablets will be available between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Aug. 8 at the Solanco High School, 585 Solanco Rd., Quarryville, and at the Keystone Fire Company, 240 N. Walnut St., Boyertown.

They will also be distributed between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Pottstown Health Center, 364 King St., Pottstown.

KI tablets are also available throughout the year at county and municipal health departments or state health centers.