Dirty bombs (NRC)

RADIATION INJURIES - Radiation injuries may go unreported due to the fact that they are not always directly associated with the radiation exposure, or there is an impression that the injury that occurred was a normal event. In general the use of radiation sources is regulated by state and/or federal agencies with specific reporting requirements. The fact that most kinds of radiation cannot be detected by any of the usual human senses, yet can cause serious injury or death makes it necessary to impose regulatory limits on the use of such devices. However, as technology continues to change, new forms of injury emerge which may not be addressed specifically in current regulations. It is important for those who are injured to report the incident to health agencies in order to generate data that may be used to determine if intervention is necessary to protect the public.

Some examples of new and relatively unregulated sources of radiation injury include the wide availability of pocket laser pointers, tanning equipment, and certain common consumer products that create a hazard when they are misused. The lasers have been reported in incidents where drivers, including police personnel, have had the laser beam projected into their eyes while operating a vehicle.

Tanning equipment has caused instances of skin and eye burns due to ultraviolet exposure. In at least one case an individual collected a large quantity of smoke detectors in order to remove the radioactive sources and concentrate them into a single, highly radioactive source. In order to protect the public from health hazards that are not evident to any reasonable person it is important to report injuries to regulatory agencies so that the incident may be investigated. Reporting may be conducted anonymously. If you know of such incident(s) in Alaska you may call 907-334-2107 for guidance.

The federal Food and Drug Administration requires all facilities that provide mammography services to have a complaint mechanism for patients who are dissatisfied. Whenever possible it is advisable to notify the facility where the incident ocurred that you are concerned. Complaints related to possible misuse or over exposure to radiation are investigated by the Radiological Health Program, Section of State Public Laboratories.

Another view of radiation injury may be found at Merck.

For more radiation injury information go to the FDA radiation bioeffects article/photos--Injury photos
Koenig/Wagner/Mettler Report w/photos
Non-medical radiation injuries

Tanning Equipment Concerns

Skin cancer information--Cancer
Indoor Tanning information--Tan light

Portable Radiation Emitting Devices

Laser Safety information-InstituteLaser
Laser Safety information-Gov'tLaser


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