LYNBROOK - Some Long Islanders are scooping up potassium iodide tablets as a precaution as the Associated Press reports that a diplomat said a minuscule amount of radioactive fallout from Japan has reached southern California. Officials say the radioactive readings are about a billion times beneath levels that would pose a health hazard, but some say they are still worried. In Lynbrook, Rubies Health Food owner says the store is sold out of potassium iodide tablets for the first time.

Many residents say they are stocking up on the tablets, which are given in a radiation emergency to protect the thyroid, despite Japan's nuclear crisis being thousands of miles away.

According to Dr. Irwin Klein, director of the Thyroid Unit at North Shore LIJ, the rush for the pills is based off of panic and misinformation. He says that taking the tablets would do more harm than good because they contain too much iodine.

LI Continuing Coverage: Japan quake and aftereffects