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Buford, GA, United States

Miller C.W.,Radiation Studies Branch | Ansari A.,Radiation Studies Branch | Martin C.,Health Studies Branch | Chang A.,Health Studies Branch | And 2 more authors.
Health Physics | Year: 2011

Following a radiation emergency, evacuated, sheltered or other members of the public would require monitoring for external and/or internal contamination and, if indicated, decontamination. In addition, the potentially-impacted population would be identified for biodosimetry/bioassay or needed medical treatment (chelation therapy, cytokine treatment, etc.) and prioritized for follow-up. Expeditious implementation of these activities presents many challenges, especially when a large population is affected. Furthermore, experience from previous radiation incidents has demonstrated that the number of people seeking monitoring for radioactive contamination (both external and internal) could be much higher than the actual number of contaminated individuals. In the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services is the lead agency to coordinate federal support for population monitoring activities. Population monitoring includes (1) monitoring people for external contamination; (2) monitoring people for internal contamination; (3) population decontamination; (4) collecting epidemiologic data regarding potentially exposed and/or contaminated individuals to prioritize the affected population for limited medical resources; (5) administering available pharmaceuticals for internal decontamination as deemed necessary by appropriate health officials; (6) performing dose reconstruction; and (7) establishing a registry to conduct long-term monitoring of this population for potential long-term health effects. This paper will focus on screening for internal contamination and will describe the use of early epidemiologic data as well as direct bioassay techniques to rapidly identify and prioritize the affected population for further analysis and medical attention. © Copyright 2011 Health Physics Society.

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