The Fukushima radiological emergency and challenges identified for future public health responses, Charles W. Miller, Chief of CDC’s Radiation Studies Branch, 2012: On 11 March 2011… a cascade of events was initiated that led to radionuclide releases causing widespread radioactive contamination… Radioactive material from Japan was subsequently transmitted to locations around the globe, including the U.S. The levels of radioactive material that arrived in the U.S. were never large enough to be a concern for health effects, but the presence of this material in the environment was enough to create a public health emergency in the U.S. The radiation safety and public health communities in the U.S. are identifying challenges they faced in responding to this incident…
Report on the 48th Annual Meeting of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) – Presentation by Charles W. Miller, Chief of CDC’s Radiation Studies Branch: The CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the first time ever for a real world radiation incident. EOC activities were even more intense than for the swine flu pandemic in 2009. Cargo and passengers from Japan headed to the U.S. were screened, and there were contaminated passengers (and cargo). However CDC (nor anyone else) has authority to quarantine passengers contaminated with radiation… Communication was a problem. At first [the “A-Team”, an advisory team for environment, food, and health comprised of personnel from EPA, CDC, USDA, and FDA] had to speak “off the record”. Also noted was that… Early PAGs were guidelines, not rules… The final point was that Fukushima was a great tragedy for Japan; it also became a public health emergency for the U.S.
Published: November 26th, 2014 at 10:14 pm ET