March 15, 2011
WASHINGTON – Most American states are not prepared to cope with a major nuclear radiation event, said a study published Monday that happened to coincide with a feared nuclear disaster in quake-hit Japan.
The survey of state health departments was conducted in 2010 and found that almost half of the 38 states that took part had no plan for protecting public health in the event of a radiation emergency.
“Most states had completed little to no planning for public health surveillance to assess potential human health impacts of a radiation event,” said the study in Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, a journal of the American Medical Association.
Few states said they had the resources to test the public for radiation exposure.