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Radiological Emergencies John C. White, CNMT RSO The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

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Presentation on theme: "Radiological Emergencies John C. White, CNMT RSO The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Radiological Emergencies John C. White, CNMT RSO The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

2 2 Course Instructor John C. White, CNMT, RSO -Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist -Radiation Safety Officer -President, Health Physics Society North and South Texas -30 years experience with radioactives and radiation -A/TC WMD Working Group

3 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas3 Introduction This lesson will discuss: l Basic Radiation Principles l Perspectives on Risk l Radiological Incident Sources l Radiological Incident Response

4 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas4 Main Objectives: l To gain a better understanding about radiation and radioactivity l To provide an understanding of the harmful effects of radiation on the human body l How to safely respond to an emergency involving radioactive materials

5 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas5 l Radiation exposure –Radiation is everywhere and can be found in many forms –Some are very harmful to the human body –Radiation injuries can take a long time to present. But when they do, it is usually in the form of cancer or birth defects Radiation and Risks

6 6 What Is Radiation ? In the form of: Waves In the form of: Waves Particles … Particles … l Non-ionizing l Ionizing Energy

7 Non-ionizing Radiation Does Not Have Enough Energy to Remove Electrons From Surrounding Atoms

8 8 Types of Radiation l Non-ionizing radiation –Waves of energy. Large wavelength –Low frequency Non-ionizing radiation comes from ultraviolet and infrared energy waves l *Note*: –This type of radiation causes sunburn and is not a major concern for the hazmat responder

9 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas9 Energy Spectrum

10 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas10 Types of Radiation l Ionizing radiation –Energy emitted in the form of electromagnetic waves or particles from the nucleus or electron cloud of an atom l Energy produced: –Alpha particles –Beta particles –Gamma or X rays –Neutrons l All of these sources may cause damage at the cellular level

11 Ionizing Radiation Energy Can Be Deposited in Neighboring Atoms Resulting in the Removal of Electrons. alpha neutron beta gamma ray x-ray High Frequency High Frequency Small Wavelength Small Wavelength

12 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas12 Alpha Radiation l Alpha radiation –Alpha particles will travel inches in air and cannot penetrate the outer layer of skin –Alpha particles can invade the body by other means, such as: l Injection l Inhalation l Ingestion l Absorption

13 13 Alpha Radiation l Not an external risk l Densely ionizing (internal exposure) l Easily shielded by skin, clothing, etc. l Internal risk

14 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas14 Beta Radiation l Beta radiation –Beta particles can travel 3 to 100 feet and may penetrate the skin. * A firefighters gear can deflect beta particles –Personnel can be exposed through: l Inhalation l Ingestion l Injection l Absorption l Penetration

15 15 Beta Radiation l Can penetrate thin sheets of aluminum and skin l External skin hazard l Internal hazard, like alpha, through ingestion, inhalation or injection

16 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas16 Gamma Radiation l Gamma radiation. –Gamma radiation is a naturally occurring or man-made high energy electromagnetic wave. –It has a high penetrating power and can travel at the speed of light. –Gamma rays will penetrate the skin and can cause injury to internal organs.

17 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas17 Gamma Radiation l Gamma Radiation Effects –Routes of entry into the body l Ingestion l Inhalation l Injection l Absorption l Penetration

18 18 Gamma Radiation l External and internal hazard l Best shielded with dense materials (e.g., lead or concrete) l Will easily penetrate Level A PPE l Easily detected

19 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas19 Neutron Radiation l High Speed Particle – –No electrical charge –Can travel hundreds of feet in air –Can easily penetrate Level A PPE –External hazard –Best shielded w/materials that are hydrogen rich (elastic collisions)

20 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas20 RADIOLOGICAL HAZARD Penetration capability of types of radiation ALPHA PARTICLE BETA PARTICLE GAMMA RAYS PAPER LEAD SKIN Neutron

21 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas21 Common Sources of Radiation X-rays - 11%Cosmic Rays - 8% Rocks, Soil - 8% Water, Food - 11% Radon - 55% Other < 1% Consumer Products - 3% Nuclear Medicine - 4%

22 22 Definitions: (For Purposes of Emergencies, R=RAD=REM) l Roentgen (R) (C/Kg) –A unit of exposure: the amount of ionizing radiation (energy) produced in a specific volume of air l Radiation absorbed dose (RAD) (Gy) –A unit of absorbed dose: the amount of energy absorbed in a given volume of material. l Radiation equivalent in man (REM) (Sv) –A unit of dose equivalent: the amount of radiation that has been absorbed times a quality factor (biological effects)

23 23 Units of Measurement 2.58 x C /kg -1 = 1 R 1 R = 0.97 Rad (tissue) 0.97 Rad x 1 = 0.97 Rem Therefore: 1R ~ 1 Rad ~ 1 Rem 1 R = 1000 mR (milliRem)

24 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas24 Definitions: Activity - the rate at which radioactive materials emit radiation l The number of nuclear disintegrations occurring in a given quantity of material per unit of time – usually referred to as dps or cpm l A curie (Ci) is the number of radioactive atoms that will decay and emit radiation in one second, not a function of weight of volume

25 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas25 International Units -A Curie (Ci) is 37 billion disintegrations per second 3.7 x dps = 1 curie (Ci) or 1000 millicuries -A Becquerel (Bq) is 1 dps 1 Bq = 27 pCi = Ci 1 Bq = 27 pCi = Ci

26 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas26 Definitions l Radioactivity –Ionizing energy spontaneously emitted by a material or combination of materials. l Radioactive material –One that spontaneously emits ionizing radiation l Radioactive contamination –Radioactive material in an unwanted place –Internal / external

27 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas27 Units of Measurement l Curie –A unit of activity: l Milli-curie –One-thousandth of a curie l Micro-curie –One-millionth of a curie.

28 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas28 Definitions: l Half-life - The amount of time a radioactive material takes to decay to 1/2 of its original activity l Each radioactive material (Isotope = Source) has a unique half-life –Sodium 2560 seconds –Iodine days –Cobalt years –Plutonium 23924,139 years l After 7 half lives < 1% remains

29 29 Field Instrumentation l Identify hazards l Types of radiation l External l Magnitude l Identify affected media l Identify nuclide(s) l Offsite analysis (of media samples) l Field spectroscopy May read in mR/hr or microrem/hr – know your meter!

30 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas30 Field Instrumentation l Alpha Detectors –Alpha scintillators (zinc sulfide, ZnS) –Air proportional detector –Pancake G-M (Geiger Mueller) l Beta Detectors –Pancake G-M –Thin Wall G-M l Gamma Detectors –Sodium Iodide (NaI) –Geiger Mueller Tube, Pancake G-M, Thin Wall G-M

31 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas31 Radiation Effects l Acute Exposure - Local or Total Body Exposure occurs in hours or minutes –Repairable damage to cells –Irrepairable damage to cells, but not causing death –Irrepairable damage resulting in death

32 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas32 Radiation Effects l Chronic Exposure Small amounts of exposure over a long period of time –Birth defects of a Teratogenic or Mutagenic nature

33 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas33 Risk Perspective mrem/y mrem/y Avg. Background360 Avg. Radiation Worker400 Regulatory Limit 5,000 (Radiation Workers) (Radiation Workers)

34 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas34 Health Risks l Radiation Risks (bomb survivors) Risk of developing a fatal cancer, non-fatal cancer, genetic effects, and length of life lost %/rem or %/mrem or %/mrem

35 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas35 EPA Emergency Dose Limit Guidelines Dose Limit (whole body) Emergency Action Dose Guidelines Activity Performed 5 rem All activities 10 rem Protecting major property 25 rem Lifesaving or protection of large populations >25 rem Lifesaving or protection of large populations, only by volunteers who understand the risks.

36 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas36 Dose Limit Guidelines l The Maximum Lifetime exposure from a single incident is: l 25 Rem NCRP Report No. 138 l 50 Rem Whole Body, 500 Rem Skin l Justification, understanding risks

37 37 Three Mile Island Space Launches Los Alamos WildfiresLost Sources l Nuclear facility accidents l Nuclear weapon and device accidents l Nuclear terrorism l Satellite re-entry l Contaminated imports l Transportation accidents l Sabotage l Orphan sources* l Foreign incidents* Types of Incidents

38 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas38 Potential Terrorist Incidents Involving Radiation l The nature of these attacks (i.e., materials used, facilities involved, method of contamination, destructive intent) can vary greatly –Assault or attack on power plants/nuclear facilities –Improvised Nuclear Weapon/lost or stolen weapon –Radiation Dispersal Device with or without explosives –Radiation Exposure Device –Water system contamination –Purposely contaminated consumer products –Orphan and lost sources

39 39 Obtainable Radiological Materials Element Half Life Type of Radiation Cesium– years Beta, gamma Cobalt– years Beta, gamma Strontium years Beta, Bremsstrahlung (quantity) Iridium– days Beta, gamma Hydrogen year Beta (low energy) Plutonium years Alpha (gamma contaminant) Plutonium ,400 years Alpha, beta, gamma Americium – years Alpha, gamma Uranium-235, 238, DU 710M – 4.5B yrs. Alpha, gamma (beta from daughters) Medical and research isotopes: Technetium-99m Technetium-99m 6 hours Beta Iodine – 131 Iodine – days Beta, gamma Phosphorus-32 Phosphorus days Beta Gallium-67 Gallium hours Gamma Carbon-14 Carbon years Beta

40 40 Radiation Dispersal Device (RDD) l Terrorists pack a conventional explosive around radioactive material around radioactive material –In the U.S., the sources would likely be radiography-type (cesium, cobalt, iridium), which are fairly easy to detect if intelligence gives a general location l Terrorists purposely contaminate an area with radioactive materials through some aerosol spraying method –Lethality is low –Panic is high l Event is intended to panic the public and severely tax the resources of Federal and state government –Many follow-up measurements would have to be made to assess the total contamination picture –Even a small event may take years of study to understand

41 41 Source: Knight-Ridder Tribune

42 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas42 Characteristics of Radiation Burn l Thermal Burn as Opposed to Radiation Burn - No sensation or recollection of immediate pain l Delayed Response l RDD as opposed to Atomic Blast - Difference in Debris Field - Flash

43 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas43 Radiation Exposure Device (RED) l Radioactive material that is intended to expose people in the vicinity of the device to emitted radiation –RED could be a sealed source or a material within some type of container (e.g., a shoebox) –The radioactive material could be in the form of a contained powder, a contained liquid, or a solid object l Example: if the radioactive material in an industrial radiography device is left without shielding, a person standing one meter from the source would have to stand at that location for about 5 hours to get a dose that would probably prove lethal (death within 2 months…)

44 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas44 Transportation Accidents l WIPP transports l Industrial Radiography l Passenger / Air Cargo Flights l Rail Transport

45 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas45 Regulatory Agencies l The Department of transportation (DOT) serves as the regulatory agency involving radioactive materials if: –A radioactive material having a specific activity of 70 Bq per gram (0.002 micro-curies per gram) of material l The DOT determines what type of packaging the material shall be encased and shipped in l ICAO/IATA determines types of packages acceptable on passenger/cargo aircraft

46 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas46 Emergency Response Transportation Incidents Radiation presents minimal risk Undamaged packages are safe. Contents of damaged packages may cause increased exposure or possible internal/external contamination Type A packages contain non-life endangering amounts Type B packages, and the rarely occurring Type C packages including [B(U)F, B(M)F, CF] contain the most (potentially) hazardous amounts of material. Life threatening conditions may exist only if contents are released or package shielding fails or in utmost severity.

47 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas47 Emergency Response Transportation Incidents FIRE OR EXPLOSION involving Radioactive Material Some of these materials may burn, but most do not ignite readily. Radioactivity does not change flammability or other properties of materials. Type B packages (AF, IF, B(U)F, B(M)F and CF) are designed and evaluated to withstand total engulfment in flames at temperatures of 800°C (1475°F) for a period of 30 minutes.

48 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas48 Trigger Points * Initial Alarm Level – 10 mR/h * Turn Around – 10, 000 mR/h (10 R/h) * Rule of Thumb cpm = 1 mR/h

49 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas49 Radiation Experts l Radiation Safety Officer l USNRC l State – TxDSHS l Nuclear Medicine Professionals l FEMA l EPA l USDOE l Several Other Federal Agencies l Health Physics Society

50 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas50 What to Look for in an Expert l Familiar with Instruments l Practical Advice l Ability to Calculate l Credential l Familiarity with Contamination

51 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas51 Emergency Response Transportation Incidents Stay upwind. CALL Emergency Response Telephone Number on Shipping Paper first. Priorities for rescue, life-saving, first aid, and control of fire and other hazards are first. Keep unauthorized personnel away. Detain or isolate uninjured persons or equipment suspected to be contaminated; delay decontamination and cleanup until instructions are received from Radiation Authority.

52 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas52 Emergency Response Transportation Incidents Radiation Authority must be notified of accident conditions. Radiation Authority is usually responsible for decisions about radiological consequences and closure of emergencies. Isolate spill or leak area immediately for at least 25 to 50 meters (80 to 160 feet) in all directions.

53 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas53 Emergency Response Transportation Incidents l Shipping papers and labels indicate the level of activity l The type of transportation container (A, B or C) is determined by the Ci content and level of exposure

54 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas54 Example l Radioactive Material l Radioactive Material –Shall be packaged, at a minimum, in a Cardboard Box. This is called Type A package.

55 Radiation Labels

56 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas56 Contents Cs-137 Activity 37 GBq (1.0 Ci) TRANSPORT INDEX 2.0 CONTENTS ACTIVITY HAZARD CLASS TRANSPORT INDEX HAZARD CATEGORY

57 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas57 Radioactive Labels l Radioactive White - I –One vertical red stripe –Low level hazard (activity) –Surface radiation level,- maximum of 0.5 mR/hr l Radioactive Yellow - II –Two vertical red stripes –Moderate hazard (activity) –Surface radiation level, - maximum of 50 mR/hr –1 mR/hr maximum at one meter from package

58 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas58 Radioactive Labels l Radioactive Yellow - III –Three vertical red stripes –Highest level hazard (activity) –Surface radiation level – maximum of 200 mR/hr –10 mR/hr maximum at one meter from the package EXCLUSIVE USE – 1000 mR/h on package surface, 200 mR/h outer surface vehicle, 10 mR/h at 2 meters

59 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas59 Transport Index l A number placed on the label to designate the degree of control to be exercised during transport l TI is the maximum radiation level in mR/hr per hour) at 1 meter from package l If TI is 2, the maximum radiation level at 1 meter would be 2 mR/hr NFPA Objective

60 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas60 Placards l Placards are only required to be displayed on vehicles for Type III shipments

61 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas61 Radioactive Container Shapes l Protective overpacks –Cylindrical configuration –Boxlike configuration l Casks –Rigid metal packaging –Reinforcing rings and cooling fins

62 Fiberboard Wooden Boxes Fiberboard Wooden Boxes Steel Drums Radioactive Container Shapes Type A

63 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas63 Type B Package l Designed to meet standards for performance under hypothetical accident conditions l Tests Conducted –Dropped from a height of 30 feet –Dropped on a steel spike from 40 inches –Exposed to fire at 1,475 0 F for 30 minutes

64 Radioactive Cask Type B

65 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas65 Type B Package l TRUPACT I and II l Certified by NRC l Meets USDOT safety requirements l TRUPACT I will hold gallon drums l TRUPACT II will hold gallon drums l Weight –12,700 lbs –19,250 lbs

66 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas66 Trupact I Trupact II

67 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas67 Emergency Response l When responding to a radiological emergency, personnel MUST remember three (3) important characteristics: l We Cannot Smell it l We Cannot Taste it l We Cannot See It l Rushing in to a radiological emergency spells trouble!!

68 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas68 Emergency Response l Personnel Safety –Responders shall ensure the safety of themselves and co-workers, prior to performing rescues or evacuations of victims or potential victims. l This can be done by performing a proper size up of the scene prior to commitment of personnel.

69 69 Emergency Response l Identifying Material –Labels –Placards –Bill of Lading –Shippers Declaration

70 70Documents

71 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas71 Emergency Response l Other information may come from: – An operator of a transport vehicle – User – Manufacturer – Shipper

72 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas72 Emergency Response l Monitoring –Monitoring should begin prior to arriving at the scene. l Radioactivity can be monitored by: l CD V-700 l CD V-715 –The CD V-700 survey meter has a range of 0 to 50 mR/Hour.

73 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas73 Performing a Rescue l In situations involving rescue, certain safety requirements must be considered and include: l Knowing the characteristics of radiation l Ensuring personnel safety l Who should perform rescue l Who should perform evacuation

74 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas74 Emergency Response l Protection –Protection can be achieved by: l Time l Distance l Shielding –All of these should be in-place when working a Radiological Emergency

75 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas75 Fire, Spill or Leak -See ERG l Small Fires Dry chemical, CO 2, water spray or regular foam. l Large Fires Water spray, fog (flooding amounts). Water spray, fog (flooding amounts). l SPILL OR LEAK l Do not touch damaged packages or spilled material. Damp surfaces on undamaged or slightly damaged packages are seldom an indication of packaging failure. Most packaging for liquid content have inner containers and/or inner absorbent materials. If any radioactive contamination resulting from a liquid release is present, it probably will be low-level.

76 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas76 Protection Factors l Time –the shorter the exposure time, the less the exposure –Radiation exposures are additive in their effects upon the or any other subject

77 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas77 PROTECTION FACTORS l Distance –the closer you are, the greater the exposure –the energy emitted from a radioactive source declines as you move away from the source

78 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas78 EXERCISE 1.There is a wreck on I-20, on approach you recognize it as semi transporting a type B cask. The cask as it appears, has not cracked open. You determine that the TI is 10. If you stand at 3 ft away from the cask for one hour, what is your exposure? 2.On further examination it appears the cask has been cracked, someone standing next to you measures 0.5 R/hr and you have been there for 30 minutes. What dose did you receive?

79 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas79 l Inverse Square Law - The intensity of ionizing radiation declines with the square of the distance l Protection Factor Formula = Distance 2 Quantity = Amount of Radiation Received = Amount of Radiation Received Distance 2 Inverse Square Law If you double the distance from the source, the intensity is lowered by one fourth

80 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas80 l Protection Factor 5 ft. 10 ft. 20 ft.30 ft. 5 X 5 = X 30 = = 40 mR/hr = 1.1 mR/hr mR/hr 4.4 mR/hr 1000 mR/hr 40 mR/hr 10 mR/hr 2.5 m/hr 1.1 mR/hr

81 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas81 EXERCISE You are at the scene of transport accident and find that on measurement you are standing in a 500 mR/h field which is one meter (3 ft) away from the source of radiation. How far would you have to move away from the source to be less than an initial alert level of 10 mR/h?

82 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas82 PROTECTION FACTORS l Shielding –Personnel protective equipment can offer protection against alpha particles –PPE will offer limited protection against beta particles –PPE offers NO protection against gamma radiation Positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and structural firefighters protective clothing will provide adequate protection against internal radiation exposure, but not all external radiation exposures.

83 83 Emergency Care Medical problems take priority over radiological concerns. Medical problems take priority over radiological concerns. Use first aid treatment according to the nature of the injury Use first aid treatment according to the nature of the injury Do not delay care and transport of a seriously injured person. Do not delay care and transport of a seriously injured person. Apply artificial respiration if victim is not breathing. Administer oxygen if breathing is difficult. Apply artificial respiration if victim is not breathing. Administer oxygen if breathing is difficult. In case of contact with substance, immediately flush skin or eyes with running water for at least 20 minutes. In case of contact with substance, immediately flush skin or eyes with running water for at least 20 minutes. Injured persons contaminated by contact with released material are not a serious hazard to health care personnel, equipment or facilities. Injured persons contaminated by contact with released material are not a serious hazard to health care personnel, equipment or facilities. Ensure that medical personnel are aware of the material(s) involved, take precautions to protect themselves and prevent spread of contamination Ensure that medical personnel are aware of the material(s) involved, take precautions to protect themselves and prevent spread of contamination

84 The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas84 This Presentation Was Developed by the North Texas Chapter Health Physics Society -The Radiation Safety Professionals -In Conjunction with The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas


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