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  • Radiological Issues: An Overview (See the Health Physics Society’s Glossary of terms: http://hps.org/documents/glossary.pdf) This presentation was created by Environmental Health Division, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Please phone: 651-215-0700 if you have comments.
  • We hope that you will be better prepared, both professionally and personally, to respond to a radiological incident after this presentation. These key concepts are covered in this presentation. Objective: to increase awareness and understanding of key radiation concepts and terminology Topics include: Research Findings; Basic Radiation Principles; Common Uses; Measurement and Health Effects; Potential Threats; Response; and Roles of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
  • Exposure to radiation can come from the soil, air, and water. True
  • (For presentation flow)
  • ALARA principles are primarily used to protect the public. False (As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) principles were developed to protect emergency workers.)
  • (For presentation flow)
  • In a radiation emergency, MDH staff would recommend protective actions for the public, such as evacuate, shelter in place, or relocate. True
  • (For presentation flow)
  • Amounts of radiation, biological, and chemical agents all can be measured right away. False. (Only radiation can be measured immediately.)
  • (For presentation flow)
  • Three basic safety factors in protecting yourself from radiation are distance, shielding, and time. True
  • (For presentation flow)
  • Summary: Exposure to radiation can come from the soil, air, and water. True ALARA principles are primarily used to protect the public. False (As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) principles were developed to protect emergency workers.) In a radiation emergency, MDH staff would recommend protective actions for the public, such as evacuate, shelter in place, or relocate. True The amount of radiation, biological, and chemical agents all can be measured right away. False. (Only radiation can be measured immediately.) Three basic safety factors in protecting yourself from radiation are distance, shielding, and time. True
  • (For presentation flow)
  • The MDH hopes that you will be better prepared, both professionally and personally, to respond to a radiological incident after this presentation. In a needs assessment, professionals have expressed concern about their lack of knowledge of radiological issues, as seen in the table in the slide. In a separate needs assessment, “'Redefining readiness: terrorism planning through the eyes of the public' (funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation), this year-long study gave the American people their first opportunity to describe how they would react to two kinds of terrorist attacks: a smallpox outbreak and a dirty bomb explosion. The rigorous study involved in-depth conversations with government and private-sector planners, 14 group discussions with diverse community residents around the country, and a telephone survey of 2,545 randomly selected adults in the continental United States. The study report is online at http://www.cacsh.org/eptpp.html In the event of a dirty bomb explosion, the study shows that people need to be protected from more than dust and radiation. They also need to know that they and their loved ones would be safe and cared for in whatever building they happen to be in at the time of an explosion. Three-quarters of the people who said they would not fully cooperate with instructions to stay inside the building after a dirty bomb explosion would do so if: (1) They could communicate with people they care about, or (2) If they were sure that they and their loved ones were in places that had prepared in advance to take good care of them in this kind of situation.”
  • This means that if, an element has a half-life of five years: 1/2 of the radiation would be present in 5 years Half of that, or 1/4 of the original radiation level, would be present in 10 years Half of that, or 1/8 of the original radiation level, would be present in 15 years Half of that, 1/16 of the original radiation level, would be present in 20 years Half of that, 1/32 of the original radiation level, would be present in 25 years… extremely low levels compared to the initial event.
  • Different types of radiation are useful because they become stable at different rates. EPA provides the following information: Uranium such as in U-238 is used in nuclear power reactors, and for making nuclear weapons . Radioactive cesium-137 is produced when uranium and plutonium absorb neutrons and undergo fission. Examples of the uses of this process are nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. Cesium-137 is also used in medical therapy to treat cancer. Cobalt-60 is used in many common industrial applications, such as in leveling devices and thickness gauges, and in radiotherapy in hospitals. Large sources of cobalt-60 are increasingly used for sterilization of spices and certain foods. The powerful gamma rays kill bacteria and other pathogens, without damaging the product. After the radiation ceases, the product is not left radioactive. Iodines are among the most widely used radionuclides, mostly in the medical field. Iodine's chemical properties make it easy to attach to molecules for imaging studies. It is useful in tracking the metabolism of drugs or compounds, or for viewing structural defects in various organs, such as the heart. Because of its short half-life and useful beta emission, iodine-131 is used extensively in nuclear medicine. Examples of sources that decay faster: Technetium-99m has a 6 hour half-life, and Fluorine-18 has a 110 minute half-life Ionizing radiation: Ionization is the ejection of one or more electrons from an atom or molecule to produce a fragment with a net positive charge (positive ion). The classification of radiation as "ionizing" is essentially a statement that it has enough quantum energy to eject an electron. This is a crucial distinction, since "ionizing radiation" can produce a number of physiological effects , such as those associated with risk of mutation or cancer, which non-ionizing radiation cannot directly produce at any intensity. (http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html)
  • Natural sources include sunlight, radium, uranium, and radon. Man made sources may include cell phone batteries, microwave ovens, and lasers.
  • Time--Reduce potential exposure time spent near ionizing radiation. Exposure Rate (milllirems per hour) X time = exposure Distance--Increase distance. The rule followed for point sources is called the “inverse square law,” where the energy twice as far from the source will spread over an area four times as large, so the intensity is one-fourth of the original source. (See: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/forces/isq.html) Increase Shielding– Although people are always exposed to some background radiation, there are ways to shield yourself. Thin paper can block alpha particles. Plastic can block beta particles. Lead can block gamma rays.
  • Exposure can be measured immediately with instruments like Geiger counters, or with dosimeter badges worn by workers and analyzed in a lab.
  • Different terms are defined at http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/nuclear/radrisk.html#c1 .
  • Note the difference in magnitude between rems and millirems. In the rarest, worst case, the MDH regulations would allow for short, high radiation exposures. The MDH accepts an emergency exposure for lifesaving only of 25 to 100 rem, with exposure above 25 rem only for very short time periods and only when it is probable those being rescued will survive. This situation is not generally of concern. The annual radiation worker dose limit is the same as 5 rems– see the next diagram.
  • It is generally believed that there is no adverse effect from an acute dose of 10 rems or less. Background levels are very low (0.3 rems). Acute effects are cumulative. For example, a dose that produces damage to bone marrow will produce changes in blood chemistry and be accompanied by nausea. (See also: http://www.epa.gov/radiation/understand/health_effects.htm for more a specific dose-response chart. ) The highest exposures will result in death quickly from shock, internal bleeding, and vascular damage.
  • What are radiation's effects on humans? http://www.epa.gov/radiation/rert/radfacts.htm “ The nature and extent of damage caused by ionizing radiation depend on a number of factors,” including the general health of the person, “amount of exposure, the frequency of exposure, and the penetrating power of the radiation to which an individual is exposed. Rapid exposure to very large doses of ionizing radiation is rare but can cause death within a few days or months. Amount: “ At the cellular level, high doses of ionizing radiation can result in severe dysfunction, even death, of cells. At the organ level, if a sufficient number of cells are so affected, the function of the organ is impaired. Such effects are called "deterministic."  Deterministic effects have definite threshold doses, which means that the effect is not seen until the absorbed dose is greater than a certain level. Once above that threshold level, the severity of the effect increases with dose. Also, deterministic effects are usually manifested soon after exposure. Examples of such effects include radiation skin burning, blood count effects, and cataracts. In contrast, stochastic effects are caused by more subtle radiation-induced cellular changes (usually DNA mutations) that are random in nature and have no threshold dose. The probability of such effects increases with dose, but the severity does not.  Cancer is the only observed clinical manifestation of radiation-induced stochastic effects. Not only is the severity independent of dose, but also, there is a substantial delay between the time of exposure and the appearance of the cancer, ranging from several years for leukemia to decades for solid tumors. Cancer can result from some DNA changes in the somatic cells of the body, but radiation can also damage the germ cells (ova and sperm) to produce hereditary effects. These are also classified as stochastic; however, clinical manifestations of such effects have not been observed in humans at a statistically significant level. (Source: Los Alamos Science, No. 23, 1995) Frequency: “Acute exposure” is a dose received over a short period of time; “Somatic exposure” is a dose received over a long period of time. Strength of isotope: Different standards have been developed for different radioactive materials and exposures, usually measured by the half-life. Targeted cells or organs: Medical therapies may use different isotopes to influence cancers in different organs. “ The sensitivity of the exposed cells also influences the extent of damage. For example, rapidly growing tissues, such as developing embryos, are particularly vulnerable to harm from ionizing radiation. ”
  • It is generally believed that there is no adverse effect from an acute dose of 10 rems or less. Background levels are very low (0.3 rems). Acute effects are cumulative. For example, a dose that produces damage to bone marrow will produce changes in blood chemistry and be accompanied by nausea. (See also: http://www.epa.gov/radiation/understand/health_effects.htm for more a specific dose-response chart. ) The highest exposures will result in death quickly from shock, internal bleeding, and vascular damage.
  • Besides nuclear power plants, there are other uses for radioactive materials. This caution sign, or a similar one, must be posted near known radioactive materials.
  • The next time you are in a hospital, you may see a sign that says “nuclear medicine.” Some procedures use radioactive isotopes to find or treat some diseases. Barium enemas require 870 mrem. A heart catheterization requires 45,000 mrem. The photo depicts a patient undergoing CT imaging (also known as a “cat scan”). Also t he World Health Organization (WHO) explains benefits of UV radiation at: http://www.who.int/uv/faq/uvhealtfac/en/index1.html
  • Radiation Safety Officers at state and federal agencies monitor radioactive materials, and require businesses to report use and transport of radioactive sources.
  • Many of these applications use weak sources. However, Radiation Safety Officers also monitor exposure and sources used by public health staff. Currently, the majority of food irradiators are accelerators, which use machine produced radiation. It is not microwave technology. Basically, it is similar to the accelerators in medical therapy for cancer patients.
  • Two exposure origins are possible: accidental and intentional, and both have controls in place. The transportation sector (vehicle, rail, ship, etc.) carries potentially toxic materials across the US. Hazardous waste is highly regulated. The Minnesota Department of Transportation has employed a HazMat Specialist for many years. Identification placards are required on shipments, which also can aid first responders to use appropriate containment methods. Releases from nuclear power plants are difficult to imagine, and will be discussed briefly in later slides. Intentional exposures are those created by terrorists, discussed briefly in later slides. A 1997 meeting transcript discusses shipments of High Level Waste (HLW) from three nuclear power plants in the states of South Carolina, Washington, and New York. Department of Energy staff estimated a large number (3500) shipments of specially treated (“vitrified”) HLW would travel across the country to a secure storage site. http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collection/commission/secys/1997/secys1997-047/1997-047secy.html, accessed January 4, 2005.
  • Different designs are used by the US compared to some other nations (e.g., the former Soviet Union). The US requires 3 barriers between radioactive materials and the environment. Recent studies indicate that the structures that house reactor fuel are robust and protect the fuel from impacts of large commercial aircraft (NRC publication, “Emergency Preparedness in Response to Terrorism” http://www.nrc.gov/what-we-do/emerg-preparedness/respond-to-emerg/response-terrorism.html , accessed Jan. 4, 2005) However, citizens have raised concerns that weaknesses may yet emerge, e.g., with deterioration over time or with a sufficiently-motivated enemy.
  • Exercises are frequently done to build the skills of emergency response staff, and have addressed understanding and reacting to the spread of a radioactive plume. Plume: The airborne "cloud" of material released to the environment. The plume may contain nuclear materials and may or may not be visible.
  • Note the difference between Nuclear and Radiological. N uclear bombs use the splitting of atoms to create an explosion. Radiological implies low-level, less reactive isotopes with relatively easy decontamination. RDDs do not include the fission products necessary to create a large blast like those seen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended WWII in Japan. But since many people do not make the distinction between the two, officials anticipate mass panic if an RDD were ever to be used…. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials have said that terrorists are more likely to use dirty bombs than perform a nuclear attack. (in Linzer, D., “Attack with Dirty Bomb More Likely, Officials Say,” Washington Post, Dec 29, 2004, page A 06, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32310-2004Dec28.html, accessed January 4, 2005)… http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/a_e/terrorism/en/ explains that there likely would be injuries from the explosion itself, rather than from radiation…. Bradley Stein et al (“Emotional and Behavioral Consequences of Bioterrorism: Planning a Public Helath Response,” The Milbank Quarterly, Vol 82, No. 3, 2004, www.milbank.org/quarterly/8203feat.html , accessed Sept. 3, 2004), Charles D. Ferguson, co-author of “The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism,” and mental health professionals have described psychological distress and disorders among survivors of terrorist events.
  • This photo shows a national exercise held in 2003 in Seattle in which emergency responders were to react to a dirty bomb. (This was not real.) “ There have been several alleged (real) attempts to carry out a dirty-bomb attack. In June 2002, U.S. authorities arrested Jose Padilla, a former gang member from Brooklyn, on charges of plotting a dirty-bomb strike in the United States on behalf of al Qaeda. Last December, the Department of Energy dispatched scores of nuclear scientists with sophisticated detection equipment to scour several major cities for radiological bombs. In September, British police arrested four men suspected of plotting to set off a dirty bomb in London.” (from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32310-2004Dec28.html , "Attack With Dirty Bomb More Likely, Officials Say," Dafna Linzer, Wednesday, December 29, 2004; Page A06 ) Radiological materials used in a dirty bomb could include: industrial radiography sources, or medical materials with long half-lives radionuclides obtained from other parts of the world ( Uranium-233, Uranium-235, enriched uranium such as “yellowcake,” and Plutonium are some radionuclides mentioned frequently in news stories. )
  • In the event of a dirty bomb explosion, public health staff must be prepared personally and professionally. Prepare so that you and your loved ones would be safe and cared for in whatever building they happen to be in at the time of an explosion, and that you can communicate with those you care about.
  • Incident Management Systems are a flexible way of organizing any response. To learn more, see http://www.sph.umn.edu/umncphp/Incident_Management_Systems.html for a free online course. Also, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ( http://www.fema.gov ) offers a free independent study course: IS#700, National Incident Management System (NIMS). The 24/7/365 duty officer (DO) has contacts in federal and all state and local agencies. The DO can also reach the radiation safety officer at the MDH.
  • Check your local emergency plan. (Where are your public health staff playing a role?) Officials have several Protective Actions options for the public in response to an incident… 1) Save lives Primary duty of 1 st responders and clinical staff , not generally public health staff 2) Control access to the site – usually a police duty, 3) Monitor radiation – a duty of 1 st responders and clinical staff , not generally public health staff 4) Decontamination – means to clean radiation from persons, land and property, by washing off particles and cutting off clothing. It is usually a duty of firefighters or clinical staff. Radiation is not infectious. Communicating protective actions to the public a) Evacuation – means Immediate (typically urgent) removal of people from a contaminated area. Listen to the radio or TV for instructions. CDC fact sheet: www.bt.cdc.gov/planning/evacuationfacts.asp Public health staff may play a role . Or b) Shelter in place – means Stay indoors, close/seal doors and windows, turn off fans and air conditioners. CDC fact sheet: www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/shelter.asp Public health staff may play a role. 6) Controls on food and water Environmental/public health staff may play a role. 7) Relocation -- Reassigning people to another location until their former location is decontaminated, or, permanent removal from an area if decontamination is not practical. The MDH will help assess the amount & spread of contamination in: soil, crops, livestock, foodstuffs and food processing, water supplies and transportation to help local officials make appropriate decisions. Environmental/p ublic health staff may play a role. Also, many people may come from other areas into your town needing assistance. Public health staff may play a role . ( In the 1980s, EPA developed PAGs (Protective Action Guides) to help state and local authorities make radiation protection decisions during emergencies. “The PAGs provide guidance that is keyed to potential conditions during an emergency. When an emergency occurs, first responders can use the key to quickly locate the protective action guidance that matches existing conditions.” Since the early 1980’s, response plans have been discussed, exercised, and revised. http://www.epa.gov/radiation/docs/er/400-r-92-001.pdf presents the entire document, “Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions for Nuclear Incidents.” )
  • Lifesaving is the primary priority. Trauma should be treated as any other injury– barrier protection (gloves, mask, gown) is essential. Your local emergency manager will work with the police to control access to the site. Other emergency responders will assist in rescue. Medical and EMS staff will be called on too.
  • Monitoring exposure is an essential method to gather data to inform protective action guidance. “Cumulative dose” means the total exposure, and “dose rate” means how many millirems per hour a person receives. Field monitoring is not generally a public health function. The photo shows monitoring in action. “TOPOFF2” was a 2003 national full-scale exercise to test emergency preparedness and response. Exercises are done to practice actual responses and skills. In Seattle, one of the scenarios practiced was to respond to a dirty bomb explosion. (This was not real.)
  • Radiological contaminants are very persistent, in that their decay rate is extremely slow. Unlike chemical or biological agents, decontamination involves only removal, not neutralization. Field decontamination usually involves changing clothes (do not remove over the head) and thoroughly washing with water and soap (if available). Radiological aerosols present a health hazard if ingested or inhaled, but are easily filtered from a building’s air stream with HEPA filters. http://www.fema.gov/txt/fima/428/FEMA428_ch6.txt
  • Planning and Communication: It is important to get the same message out among all who will communicate with the public; this is usually done when a Joint Public Information Center (JPIC– say: “jay’ pick”) is formed among the affected agency’s Public Information Officers (PIOs). Emergency Alert Systems (EAS) will be activated by public safety staff. Look also on freeway alert signs, TV and radio. Emergency Community Health Outreach (ECHO) broadcasts on public TV explain emergencies to non-English speaking communities in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Print evacuation fact sheet from: www.bt.cdc.gov/planning/evacuationfacts.asp Print shelter in place fact sheet from: www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/shelter.asp Either of these actions can affect the public’s health. For example, according to a local emergency plan, just-in-time training may be required, or informational hotlines may need to be established and staffed. Personal emergency preparedness checklists are also available from www.ready.gov or or the Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/pubs/dspubs/terrormat.html or the Federal Veterans Administration ( http://www.vethealth.cio.med.va.gov/Pubs/PersPrepare.pdf and http://www.vethealth.cio.med.va.gov/Pubs/prepare.pdf for a four-month relocation) .
  • State and federal agencies can help assess exposures, evaluate health implications, and advise on technical issues. Environmental health staff may be asked to inspect regulated food, beverage, and lodging establishments. Increased numbers of people relocated in your community, even temporarily, may stress local resources and amenities.
  • All-Hazard Plans are in development. Assisting with development of guidance to local public officials, and coordinating sampling activities are actions normally included in the long-standing Radiation Emergency Planning (REP) program in which the MDH plays a role. ERAMS (Environmental Radiation Ambient Monitoring System). ERAMS is the EPA-operated monitoring system used to measure radioactivity and other contaminants in the environment. There are 260 ERAMS sampling stations throughout the U.S. In an emergency, the sampling stations can be used to provide information on how far contamination has spread.
  • Food and drinking water, as well as soil, crops, livestock and transportation, can all be affected and may require samples. The FBI will handle criminal evidence. The MDH public health labs should be called before taking or bringing in any sample for analysis. The staff may require certain precautions or collection methods. The MDH and Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) lab staff work closely together, and have worked with other agencies too.
  • Plans are under development in coordination with national (CDC and DOE), state and local emergency planning efforts.
  • Kate Rice, an intern from Stanford University, displays a Geiger counter used to measure radiation levels in the Press lab. Photo by Todd McNaught , Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 10/16/2003 “For Radiation’s Safety Sake,” by Melinda Young. http://www.fhcrc.org/pubs/center_news/2003/oct16/gart2.html and http://www.fhcrc.org/pubs/center_news/2003/oct16/Radiation.jpg Accessed 1/3/2005 (Permission for use obtained from Dean Forbes 12/27/2004, dforbes@fhcrc.org)
  • If at all possible, find a working Geiger counter, a radiation detection and measuring instrument. It consists of a gas-filled tube containing electrodes, between which there is an electrical voltage, but no current flowing. When ionizing radiation passes through the tube, a short, intense pulse of current passes from the negative electrode to the positive electrode and is measured or counted. The number of pulses per second measures the intensity of the radiation field. It is the most commonly used portable radiation detection instrument. From http://www.epa.gov/radiation/terms/termghi.htm Accessed 12/23/2004.
  • Make sure equipment is calibrated, maintained, and available Know how to use the equipment Do not touch surfaces directly with the equipment. Wrap the probe in plastic and change the covering regularly. Write down the measurements from the Geiger counter. Call the state or federal radiation specialist. Report your findings and follow the directions of the radiation specialist regarding appropriate action.
  • Radiological Issues October 27, 2010 Name: _____________________   This test supports the MDH presentation, “Radiological Issues: An Overview.” Please circle the best answer for each question. (T means true. F means false.) Passing is 70% .   TF 1.Radiation is useful in medical treatments.   TF 2. Nuclear power plant operations are the source of radiological threats.   TF 3. Exposure to radiation can come from the soil, air, and water.   TF 4. Ionizing radiation is created when bonds holding electrons are not stable.   TF 5. Sheltering inside a building made with concrete walls can lessen harmful effects of gamma rays.   TF 6. Unlike biological or chemical agents, the amount of radiation present can be measured immediately.   TF 7. Geiger counters are used to measure the amount of radiation on people and equipment.   TF 8. Millirems are smaller than rems.   TF 9. Nuclear regulations have been in place for many years.   TF 10. A conventional bomb filled with radiological materials is called an Improvised Explosive Device or IED.   TF 11. Three basic safety considerations in protecting yourself from radiation exposure are measurement, rotating personnel between shifts, and distance.   TF 12. It is more likely that public health staff will see a radiological materials incident than a nuclear power plant explosion.   TF 13. In a radiological emergency, MDH staff would help victims get away from the radiation.   TF 14. In a radiological emergency, ALARA principles help protect the workers, not the public.   TF 15. EPA’s Protective Action Guide describes how to protect the public during and after a nuclear explosion.   TF 16. “Nuclear” and “radiological” have the same meaning.   TF 17. In a radiological emergency, MDH staff would analyze samples.   TF 18. In a radiological emergency, MDH staff would recommend protective actions for the public, such as evacuate, shelter in place, decontaminate, or relocate.   TF 19. In a radiological emergency, news organizations are expected to inform the public of protective actions.   TF 20. Ingesting radioactive particles can cause cancer.
  • For your records, print out the certificate and add your name.

radiation (PowerPoint 4.07MB/62 slides) radiation (PowerPoint 4.07MB/62 slides) Presentation Transcript

  • Radiological Issues: An Overview Radioactive Materials (RAM) Environmental Health Division Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)
  • Presentation
    • Objective: to increase awareness and understanding of key radiation concepts and terminology
    • Research Findings
    • Basic Radiation Principles
    • Common Uses
    • Measurement and Health Effects
    • Potential Threats
    • Response
    • Roles of the MDH
  • True or False? Check what you know!
    • Exposure to radiation can come from the soil, air, and water.
    T F T F
  • Good job!
    • Press the button to continue on to the next slide.
  • True or False?
    • As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) principles are primarily used to protect the public.
    T F F T
  • Good job!
    • Press the button to continue on to the next slide.
  • True or False?
    • In a radiation emergency, MDH staff would help recommend protective actions for the public, such as evacuate, shelter in place, or relocate.
    T F F T
  • Good job!
    • Press the button to continue on to the next slide.
  • True or False?
    • Amounts of radioactive, biological, and chemical agents all can be measured right away.
    T F F T
  • Good job!
    • Press the button to continue on to the next slide.
  • True or False?
    • Three basic safety factors to protect yourself from radiation are distance, shielding, and time.
    T F F T
  • Good job!
    • Press the button to continue on to the next slide.
  • True or False… Summary
    • Exposure to radiation can come from the soil, air, and water.
    • ALARA principles are primarily used to protect the public.
    • In a radiation emergency, MDH staff would help recommend protective actions for the public, such as evacuate, shelter in place, or relocate.
    • Amounts of radiation, biological, and chemical agents all can be measured right away.
    • Three basic safety factors in protecting yourself from radiation are distance, shielding, and time.
    T F T T F
  • Sorry. Try again.
    • Press here to return to the slide.
  • CDC Research Findings: Medical professionals need more information. http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/pdf/hospitalroundtablereport.pdf , accessed 12/22/2004 -Safety of family and friends -Contamination risks -Necessary protection actions General Concerns -Lack of understanding of Public Health’s role in biological, chemical, and radiological terrorism Public Health Issues -Low awareness and understanding of key concepts and terminology -Tendency to overestimate the severity of personal risk General Issues
  • Basic Radiation Principles
    • Radiation is energy released from unstable elements. The energy is released until the element is stable.
    • This may take a fraction of a second or billions of years depending upon the element.
  • Basic Radiation Principles… continued…
    • Decay (decrease in the radioactivity) can be determined using half-lives.
    • A “half-life” is the time it takes for an isotope to reduce its activity by one half…
  • Basic Radiation Principles … continued…
    • This means that if, an element has a half-life of five years:
    • 1/2 of the radiation would be present in 5 years
    • 1/4 of the radiation would be present in 10 years
    • 1/8 of the radiation would be present in 15 years
    • 1/16 of the radiation would be present in 20 years
    • 1/32 of the radiation would be present in 25 years
  • Basic Radiation Principles … continued…
    • U-238 has a 4.47 billion year half-life
    • Cesium-137 has a 30 year half-life
    • Cobalt-60 has a 5 year half-life
    • Iodine-131 has an 8 day half-life
    • Other sources of ionizing radiation may decay faster, causing less exposure.
    • Source: http://www.epa.gov/radiation/radionuclides/ accessed 12/23/2004
  • Basic Radiation Principles … continued…
    • Radiation is everywhere, coming from:
      • the solar system
      • the atmosphere
      • the earth (soil, rocks, and water) and
      • man-made sources.
    • You cannot see, smell, or feel it.
  • Basic Radiation Principles … continued…
    • Types of radiation include:
    • Alpha (  ) and Beta (  ) Particles
    • and
    • Gamma (  ) and X-rays
  • Basic Radiation Principles … continued…
      • Alpha (  ) particles can be blocked by a piece of paper.
      • Beta (  ) particles can be blocked by a firefighter’s turnout gear, but not a piece of paper.
      • If exposed, wash off particles well with soap and water in a timely manner.
        • Note: If particles are ingested, inhaled, or enter the body through wounds, medical attention is recommended.
  • Basic Radiation Principles … continued…
    • Gamma rays (  ) are a different matter.
      • Pure energy, similar to x-rays
      • Can be blocked by concrete, lead or steel
      • If exposed, medical attention is recommended.
  • Remember 3 Factors to Minimize Exposure
    • Time
    • Distance
    • Shielding
  • Measurement and Health Effects of Radiation Exposures
  • Measurement
    • The term used to measure radiation doses is “rem.”
    • It measures the effect of radiation on living tissue, also known as a “biologically effective dose.”
    • Typically, exposure is expressed in “millirems” (mrem) which is one-thousandth of a rem.
  • Typical Radiation Doses
    • Flight from Los Angeles to London . . . . 5 mrem
    • Annual public dose limit . . . . . . . . . . .100 mrem
    • Annual natural background . . . . . . 300 mrem
    • Fetal dose limit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500 mrem
    • Annual radiation worker dose limit . 5000 mrem
    • Emergency: The MDH accepts an emergency exposure for lifesaving only of 25 to 100 rem.
    • Note: Workplace exposures required to be “As Low As Reasonably Achievable” (ALARA)
  • Radiation Risk Perspective Known Exposure Risks Risks Exposure (in Rem) 0 “ Annual Occupational Exposure Limit” 5 Rem 0.3 5 10 Background Exposure 360 mrem
  • Factors that Influence Health Effects of Radiation
    • General health of the individual
    • Amount (The “threshold dose” means that the effect is not seen until the absorbed dose is greater than a certain level.)
    • Frequency (acute or somatic)
    • Strength of isotope
    • Targeted cells or organs receiving the dose
  • Biological Effects of Acute Whole Body Radiation Exposure Risks increase with exposure Risks Exposure (in Rems) 0 Mild radiation sickness: nausea, fatigue, weak Chromosome errors, burns, not visibly ill 0.3 50- 150 150- 400 ⇝ 400- 600 600- 1500 5000 + Hair loss in 3-4 weeks. Death likely for 50% of exposed and untreated ⇝ Acute Radiation Sickness Death
  • Uses of Radioactive Material
  • Uses of radioactive material
    • Medical applications include:
    • Nuclear medicine equipment
    • Isotopic generators
    • Therapy units and seed implants
    • Radiopharmaceuticals
    • Computed Tomography (CT) imaging
    Source: FDA, Center for Devices and Radiological Health http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/health/fullbody-ctscan/fullbody-ctscan.htm Accessed 12/21/2004
  • Uses of radioactive material
    • Business applications include:
    • Luminous dials
    • Moisture and density gauges
    • Thickness gauges
    • Rifle sights
    • Static eliminators
    Source: Nuclear Regulatory Commission http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/2004/04-004i.html Accessed 12/21/2004
  • Uses of radioactive material
    • Public health applications include:
    • Food irradiation
    • Radiography
    • Well logging
    • Chemical agent detectors
    • XRFs for lead paint analysis
    • Smoke detectors
    http://www.foodprocessing-technology.com/projects/sure/ accessed 12/21/2004 Source: FDA, Center for Devices and Radiological Health http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/health/fullbody-ctscan/what.htm accessed 12/21/2004
  • Potential Radiological Incident?
    • Accidental (Controlled by regulatory systems)
    • The transportation sector (vehicle, rail, ship) carries many materials across the US. Despite fears of an attack, the most likely radiological incident remains a transportation accident involving radioactive materials.
    • Nuclear power plants build strong structures and exercise
    • Intentional (Controlled by legal systems)
    • Stolen materials
    • Dirty bombs
  • D amage to a nuclear power plant is difficult to imagine
    • US plants: 3 barriers between radioactive materials and the environment. The reactor will not explode.
    • Structures that house reactor fuel are robust. Fuel is protected from impacts of large commercial aircraft.
  • D amage to a nuclear power plant is difficult to imagine …continued…
    • Professionals discuss, plan, and perform “exercises” often to rehearse skills and test possible scenarios:
      • At worst, could be a release of radioactive materials into the air, creating a “plume.”
      • May need to evacuate a surrounding area.
      • Precautionary medical measures may be necessary for those caught in the plume or its expected path down-wind.
  • Bombs with radioactive material (“Dirty Bombs” or “RDDs”)
    • Definition: a conventional bomb surrounded by or filled with non-nuclear radiological materials. (also called a radiological dispersal device, or RDD)
    • Unlikely, and most probable, form of radiological terrorism
    • Radioactivity would not kill or seriously injure people (but an explosion might).
    • Would create fear or chaos: coined a “Weapon of Mass Disruption.”
    • Expect significant long-term psychological effects.
  • Bombs with radioactive material …Continued…
    • An RDD could be
    • any size,
    • spread radiation, and
    • contaminate an area.
    • This photo was staged, but several alleged real-life RDD plots have been upset.
    Photo: www.seattle.gov/mayor/gallery_2003/gallery_TOPOFF2_03.htm Erik Stuhaug, photographer, accessed 11/10/2004
  • Responding to a Radiological Incident
  • Responding to an Incident
    • Remember, a “dirty bomb” will probably not cause radiation sickness or death.
    • Be alert for secondary attacks, like explosive devices.
  • Responding to an Incident…continued…
    • Don’t make a victim of yourself.
      • No eating.
      • No smoking.
      • Wear protective clothing – including double gloves (if available).
    • Do not move items at the scene. They are evidence.
  • Responding to an Incident…continued…
    • Work within an Incident Management System. (Take the free online IMS course: www.sph.umn.edu/umncphp/Incident_Management_Systems.html )
    • Incident Commander makes sure the Minnesota Duty Officer has been called and knows the situation and needs:
    • Metro Area ………..(651) 649-5451
    • Toll Free (MN)..…1 (800) 422-0798
  • Responding to an Incident … Options to protect the public
    • 1) Save lives
    • 2) Control access
    • 3) Monitor radiation
    • 4) Decontaminate
    • 5) IC communicates action to the public
    • … Evacuate.. or.. Shelter in place
    • 6) Place controls on food and water
    • 7) Relocate… Populations may mass in your jurisdiction for a long time
  • Public Safety response
    • 1 st responders save lives.
      • Rescue known living victims.
    • 1 st responders control access
      • Measure contamination levels in and near danger zones. Set up barriers.
      • Only professional responders enter danger zones. Measure exposures.
  • Public Safety response …continued…
    • 3) Continue to monitor radiation levels
      • Responders monitor both cumulative dose and dose rate when in a contaminated area.
      • Responders consult with state and federal technical experts when setting and adjusting boundaries.
    Photo: www.seattle.gov/mayor/gallery_2003/gallery_TOPOFF2_03.htm Erik Stuhaug, photographer, accessed 11/10/2004
  • Public Safety response …continued…
    • 4) Decontaminate:
    • 1 st Responders establish a field decontamination zone in a safe area.
    • If possible, decontaminate victims and emergency responders before transporting to a hospital.
    Source: MDH, An Exercise, Courtesy of D Grundmanis
  • Public safety and public health staff can p lan cooperatively.
    • Evacuate ..or..
    • Immediate/urgent removal of people from a contaminated area. Mass shelter and care will be required.
    • Shelter in place
    • Stay indoors, close/ seal doors and windows. Turn off/ cover fans and air conditioners. Individuals must care for themselves.
    Check your local plans for your role(s). e.g., Communication Plan: Form a JPIC. Present regular PIO briefings and press releases. Media informs the public. Hotline message instructs area residents to:
  • Public health staff can assist and guide protective actions
    • Food and drinking water may be sampled, assessed, and controlled.
    • Relocation… Populations may mass in your jurisdiction for a long time, requiring
      • safe shelter,
      • sanitary conditions,
      • medical care, and
      • systems or community behavior change.
    • Public health staff will likely play a large role in recovery efforts.
  • The Role Of The Minnesota Department Of Health
  • Role of the MDH for Accident Assessment
    • • Assist with development of guidance to local public officials for:
    • - emergency workers,
    • - remediation personnel, and
    • - the public
    • • Coordinate sampling activities, including air samples
  • Role of the MDH for Accident Assessment
    • • Analyze samples at the MDH Public Health Laboratory
    • • Review results of sample analysis and make recommendations for protective actions, additional sampling, control, and mitigation as appropriate.
  • Role of the MDH for Accident Assessment
    • • Develop and maintain a preparedness and response plan for public health aspects of disasters and emergencies
  • Using the Monitoring Equipment Unlike many biological or chemical agents, the presence and amount of radiation can be detected immediately. Photo: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center , 10/16/2003 http://www.fhcrc.org/pubs/center_news/2003/oct16/Radiation.jpg Accessed 1/3/2005
  • Using the Monitoring Equipment …continued…
    • Stop. Look. Listen.
    • Anytime an incident is reported that could be remotely perceived as terrorism, the first responder should take a Geiger counter.
    • Approach the site cautiously with the survey meter on the lowest scale.
    • (There normally are some slow clicks measuring background radiation. But if it clicks faster, there is more radiation.)
  • Using the Monitoring Equipment …continued…
    • There are two primary uses for a Geiger counter:
    • 1) To identify radiation levels
    • 2) To identify contamination on personnel, equipment, and property
  • Using the Monitoring Equipment …continued…
    • Make sure equipment is calibrated, maintained, and available.
    • Know how to use the equipment.
      • Write down the measurements from the Geiger counter.
    • Call the state or federal radiation specialist.
      • Report your findings and follow directions regarding appropriate action.
  • Operations Assistance
    • Record the measurements on the monitor (Geiger counter).
    • Call the state or federal radiation specialist.
    • Report your findings and follow the directions of the radiation specialist regarding appropriate action.
  • Key Points
    • Radiation is a part of daily life.
    • With proper equipment, radiation can be detected immediately.
    • To reduce the potential exposure: decrease exposure time, increase distance, and increase shielding. If exposed, showering and carefully removing clothing can reduce contamination
    • Community actions in an event may include: Evacuation, Shelter in Place, and Relocation.
  • For more information For more information: CDC http://www.bt.cdc.gov/radiation/ EPA http:// www.epa.gov/radiation/students/types.html MDH Environmental Health (651) 215-0700 Emergencies Only-- call MN Duty Officer: Metro Area …….…(651) 649-5451 or Toll-free in MN……1 (800) 422-0798
  • Post-Test Please go to the separate file entitled, “radtest.pdf” to print the post-test.
  • Acknowledgement
    • This slide acknowledges that _____________________
    • has seen the web-based presentation, “ Radiological Issues ”
    • and has increased awareness and understanding of key concepts and terminology .