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Public Health Emergency Preparedness : FAQs-Radiation Emergency: What Types of Terrorist Events Might Involve Radiation?
 

Question

What Types of Terrorist Events Might Involve Radiation?

Answer

  • ​Possible terrorist events could involve introducing radioactive material into the food or water supply, using explosives (like dynamite) to scatter radioactive materials (called a “dirty bomb”, bombing or destroying a nuclear facility, or exploding a small nuclear device.
  • Although introducing radioactive material into the food or water supply most likely would cause great concern or fear, it probably would not cause much contamination or increase the danger of adverse health effects.
  • Although a dirty bomb could cause serious injuries from the explosion, it most likely would not have enough radioactive material in a form that would cause serious radiation sickness among large numbers of people. However, people who were exposed to radiation scattered by the bomb could have a greater risk of developing cancer later in life, depending on their dose.
  • A meltdown or explosion at a nuclear facility could cause a large amount of radioactive material to be released. People at the facility would probably be contaminated with radioactive material and possibly be injured if there was an explosion. Those people who received a large dose might develop acute radiation syndrome . People in the surrounding area could be exposed or contaminated.
  • Clearly, an exploded nuclear device could result in a lot of property damage.People would be killed or injured from the blast and might be contaminated by radioactive material. Many people could have symptoms of acute radiation syndrome. After a nuclear explosion, radioactive fallout would extend over a large region far from the point of impact, potentially increasing people’s risk of developing cancer over time.

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Created at 7/8/2014 4:53 PM by Webmaster
Last modified at 7/8/2014 4:53 PM by Webmaster