[ RadSafe ] "Dirty Bomb" Treatment Technology Developed in U.K.

Scott, Bobby BScott at lrri.org
Tue Sep 15 11:48:27 CDT 2009


Dirty bombs release radionuclides (e.g., radiostrontium). If taken into the body (e.g., via inhalation), a radionuclide then undergoes physical decay delivering internal radiation dose over a prolonged period that depends on its effective half-life in the body. Shortly after radionuclide intake not much radiation dose and not much biological damage may occur. Monitoring a blood sample at an early time after radionuclide intake via inhalation may therefore not reveal the much larger amount of biological damage and larger radiation dose that could occur over a period of prolonged internal irradiation. One would also want to investigate what radionuclides entered the body and the level of contamination (internal and external). Such information would facilitate planning radionuclide decorporation and decontamination strategies.

For those who have interest, the paper that follows will be published in the Dose-Response Journal (specific issue not yet determined):

Scott BR. Calculating hematopoietic-mode-lethality risk avoidance associated with radionuclide decorporation countermeasures related to a radiological terrorism incident.

The web address for the journal follows: http://www.dose-response.com/ .

Bobby R. Scott
Senior Scientist
Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute
2425 Ridgecrest Drive SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108 USA

-----Original Message-----
From: Garner, William H [mailto:whgarn2 at email.uky.edu] 
Sent: Monday, September 14, 2009 1:48 PM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: [ RadSafe ] "Dirty Bomb" Treatment Technology Developed in U.K.

"Dirty Bomb" Treatment Technology Developed in U.K.
Monday, Sept. 14, 2009
New technology developed in the United Kingdom could enable doctors to more quickly treat a large number of people following exposure to a radiological "dirty bomb," the London Independent reported yesterday (see GSN, Nov. 14, 2007).

Scientists have created a suitcase-sized device that needs only a short amount of time to determine the level of cellular damage a person is suffering following exposure to radiation. The system, set to be publicly unveiled this week, could allow for hundreds of people to be tested in a period of hours.

Existing systems require blood to be drawn from potential victims and then extensively tested. No more than 100 samples could be tested each week at British laboratories, analysts say.

"If there was a major radiological or nuclear event the hospitals in this country could be overwhelmed," said Kai Rothkamm, an official with the British Health Protection Agency.

The new device could test 30 samples each hour (Nina Lakhani, London Independent, Sept. 13).

William H. Garner 
University Of Kentucky 
Radiation Safety Department 
110 Dimock Animal Pathology 
Lexington, KY  40506-0076 
Office Phone (859)323-1009 
Cell Phone (859)967-4296 
Fax   (859)323-4752 
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