The health effects of ionizing radiation: a survey of local health officials in New England and New York.
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The health effects of ionizing radiation: a survey of local health officials in New England and New York.

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    Public Health Rep
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    The purpose of the study is to determine the educational needs of public health officials concerning their knowledge, attitude, beliefs, and practices with specific reference to ionizing radiation. The public health directors or designates, working in health departments whose jurisdictions fall within a 60-mile radius of the 14 operating nuclear power plants in the New York-New England region, were studied. A review of the literature indicates that historically there appears to have been a limited effort to conduct such a needs assessment in the United States. A questionnaire was developed to measure the public health directors' knowledge, attitudes, and practice. The instrument was mailed in the summer of 1992 to all public officials listed in the National Directory of Local Health Departments. Knowledge, attitude, and practice questions were analyzed in terms of frequency of correct, incorrect, and don't know responses. The data presented convey the message that there should be public input into the risk assessment of nuclear plants and that local health departments should inform the public about the health risks posed by nuclear plants in their locality. The authors recommend that an appropriate Federal agency sponsor a national survey and that States should establish a training program on the health effects of ionizing radiation for local public health officials.
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