After a radiation emergency, local officials will set up places for people who were in the affected area to go and get screened for radioactive contamination if needed. These screening locations are called Community Reception Centers, and are part of a larger response activity called population monitoring. Population monitoring is a process that begins soon after a radiation emergency and continues until all potentially affected people have been checked for radioactive contamination and evaluated for health effects from radiation exposure. Population monitoring also includes long-term tracking and medical follow-up for people who were exposed to higher levels of radiation or contaminated with radioactive material. This stage of population monitoring could go on for many years after the emergency. Learn about The Virtual Community Reception Center
Community Reception Center
- At a Community Reception Centers, a number of services will be available to help people who may have been affected by a radiation emergency.
- Emergency workers will use radiation detectors to look for radioactive contamination. Information on Internal vs External Contamination
- If external contamination is found, decontamination facilities will be available. If internal contamination is found, medical experts can provide advice and further information.
- Pregnant women and nursing mothers should let community reception center staff know so that they can receive additional attention.
- Some reception centers may provide additional services such as:
- Screening and decontamination for pets
- Information on available shelters
- Counseling services
- Radiation experts will be available to answer questions about radiation and health.
- People will also be asked to register at a reception center. The registry will allow emergency responders and medical staff to follow up with people who need immediate health care, and monitor those who have been exposed to radiation
- The health of people who were involved in the incident will be monitored over many years to see whether people are having health effects from the emergency. These health effects could include effects related to radiation exposure, such as cancer, or effects associated with the stress of being involved in an incident.
- Infographic: Where to go in a radiation emergency
- Infographic: What is the difference between a nuclear device and a so-called "dirty bomb"? (Coming Soon!)
- Page last updated August 22, 2013
- Page last reviewed August 22, 2013
- Content source: Radiation Studies Branch (RSB), Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects (EHHE), National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention (CCEHIP)
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