NCRP Report 161

NCRP Report No. 161, Management of Persons Contaminated With Radionuclides


NCRP Report No. 161, Management of Persons Contaminated with Radionuclides, provides guidance to those who may be called to respond to radionuclide contamination incidents. Such incidents may range from situations in which one or a few persons have received minor contamination while working in research, medical facilities, or industry to those in which large numbers of people are contaminated as a result of accidental or deliberate releases of large quantities of radionuclides. The focus of this Report is on the medical management of individuals exposed to and potentially contaminated with radionuclides in such incidents. Thus, it is directed to persons who would provide medical care and those who would perform radiation-safety functions. This Report is intended as an update and expansion of NCRP Report No. 65, Management of Persons Accidentally Contaminated with Radionuclides.

This Report comprises two volumes, a Handbook and the Scientific and Technical Bases. The Handbook contains information for immediate “in-the-field” application to radiation contamination incidents. It is organized into four parts. Part A provides Quick Reference Information for incident responders based on supporting information given elsewhere in the Report. Part B contains essential information on medical and radiation-safety activities to be conducted at the site of a radionuclide contamination incident and prior to arrival at a hospital. Part C describes medical and radiation safety activities at the hospital. Part D provides guidance on medical follow-up of exposed persons and on handling contaminated decedents. This volume is produced on a synthetic material for durability and coil bound and color coded for ease of use.

The Scientific and Technical Bases volume provides detailed scientific and technical information in support of the guidance in the Handbook. This volume is organized into seven sections and ten appendices. While much of the information in the Scientific and Technical Bases can be found through diligent examinations of other publica-tions, few organizations involved in responding to radionuclide contamination incidents will have access to all these publications or the staff to research them. Therefore, the Scientific and Technical Bases are presented as a resource, supporting and supplementing the material in the Handbook and for possible use in training emergency-response personnel.

Experience has shown that it would be extremely rare for trained radiation-safety and medical personnel to be first on the scene of any radionuclide contamination incident, whether it is an accidental spill in a laboratory or the deliberate release of a large quantity of activity in a public place. It is more likely that the first on the scene will be a colleague in a work place and fire-protection and law-enforcement personnel in a public place. Also, contamina-tion incidents can occur in locations where radiation-safety and medical personnel are not readily available. Therefore, this Report is intended for the broad spectrum of persons who may respond to radionuclide contamina-tion incidents, those with limited knowledge of radiation-safety and medical response as well as the professionals with extensive knowledge.

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Last modified: May 29, 2015