WASHINGTON – Saying “the chance that an overt or covert terrorist attack involving radioactive materials will occur is an unfortunate reality in the United States today,” the Centers for Disease Control is putting a new emphasis on preparing the public and health-care professionals for nuclear terrorism.
Amid extensive resources published prominently on the CDC website is a new two-page brochure that can be printed titled, “Radiological Terrorism: Emergency Management Pocket Guide for Clinicians.” The brochure was posted yesterday.
“CDC would play a key role in protecting the public health during and after an emergency involving radiation or radioactive materials,” the agency explains.
The website includes information for the general public, first responders and medical professionals.
“Because of the terrorist events of 2001, people have expressed concern about the possibility of a terrorist attack involving radioactive materials,” the agency says in explaining its own role in such an emergency. “During and after such an incident, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would assist state, local, and territorial authorities in protecting people’s health and offer advice on steps that people can take to reduce their exposures to radiation.”
The CDC says it would assist and advise state and local health departments on recommendations on how to protect people from radioactive fallout and contamination, how to safely use food and water supplies in an affected area, assess the dangers in areas hit and monitor people for exposure to radiation.
“If necessary, CDC would also deploy the Strategic National Stockpile, a federal store of drugs and medical supplies set aside for emergency situations,” says the report.
The report also includes answers to frequently asked questions about nuclear blasts and provides information that will be familiar to those who lived through the Cold War.
The website also includes a description of Prussian Blue, a blue dye that was first developed in 1704 that can remove certain radioactive materials from people’s bodies. The CDC cautions it should only be used under a doctor’s care.
The CDC also recommends the public purchase KI – or Potassium Iodide tablets – for use in a radiological emergency.
“Local emergency management officials will tell people when to take KI,” says the CDC. “If a nuclear incident occurs, officials will have to find out which radioactive substances are present before recommending that people take KI. If radioactive iodine is not present, then taking KI will not protect people. If radioactive iodine is present, then taking KI will help protect a person’s thyroid gland from the radioactive iodine. Taking KI will not protect people from other radioactive substances that may be present along with the radioactive iodine.”
The CDC points out the Food and Drug Administration recommends taking KI as soon as a radioactive cloud containing iodine from the explosion is close by and says KI may still have some protective effect even if it is taken three to four hours after exposure to radioactive iodine.
The new focus by the CDC on the terrorist nuclear threat comes weeks after WND and G2 Bulletin broke a series of stories on al-Qaida’s “American Hiroshima” plan – 10 years in the design stages – to detonate one or more nuclear weapons in major cities in the U.S.
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