Public health preparedness : examination of legal language authorizing responses to incidents involving contamination with radioactive material
Published Date:May 2014
Corporate Authors:Public Health Law Program (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)) ; National Center for Environmental Health (U.S.). Radiation Studies Branch. ; National Association of County & City Health Officials (U.S.)
Funding:CDC Cooperative Agreement #5U38HM000449-05
Description:In preparing for potential incidents involving contamination with radioactive material, jurisdictions may decide to analyze their laws regarding the decontamination and restriction of movement of affected individuals. The RLP project found three general themes of the current legal landscape:
• The language of the laws varies substantially throughout the United States. To best prepare for an incident involving contamination with radioactive material, jurisdictions may want to address their laws to determine whether the language authorizing their ability to decontaminate or restrict the movement of individuals is express, broad, narrowly defined, or limited to biologics.
• The language in some laws is limited to biologics, in which case using communicable disease or traditional quarantine and isolation language may not be applicable to situations involving contamination with radioactive material.
• Jurisdictions might want to discuss and prepare for the impact that a declaration of emergency or public health emergency has on their authority. Such declarations might expand the authority granted to designated officials.
In conclusion, a response to an incident involving contamination with radioactive material is a multidisciplinary effort involving law enforcement personnel, local health department representatives, radiation subject matter experts, legal representatives, and other stakeholders. State and local jurisdictions might want to have a comprehensive conversation about their legal authorities with stakeholders before a radiation incident occurs to help ensure a successful response.
CDC would like to thank the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) for their contributions to this guidance document. NACCHO was instrumental in providing subject matter expertise, establishing a working group of experts, assisting with the legal research, coordinating logistics and providing overall project management through CDC Cooperative Agreement #5U38HM000449-05
The Radiation Legal Preparedness (RLP) project was researched and prepared by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) staff Jennifer Buzzell, MS, Gabriella Klaes, JD, (ORISE Fellow), and Matthew S. Penn, JD, MLIS.
Supporting Files:No Additional Files
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