When treated with a strong acid such as hydrochloric acid, hydroiodic acid is formed, along with the potassium salt of the acid. A useful reagent in itself, hydroiodic acid can also be oxidized directly to elemental iodine with the addition of hydrogen peroxide. Potassium iodide, being water-soluble, is a useful source of the iodide ion in solution as well.
Like most iodides, it will form dark brown triiodides on contact with elemental iodine.
At room temperature, potassium iodide follows the general pattern of alkali metal halides in that it appears as a colorless, odorless crystalline salt that is highly soluble in water.
Potassium iodide can be found as an iodine supplement or as an emergency medicine for radiation poisoning, which means it may be stocked by some survivalist/prepper outlets. It is easily purchased online.
Potassium iodide can easily be synthesized by the action of elemental iodine or hydroiodic acid on potassium hydroxide.
Potassium iodide is a mild irritant, and due to the high mass percentage of iodine it contains, large amounts of exposure can effect the thyroid gland. It may also factor in causing birth defects.