Regulation, Security of Nuclear Materials Used in Health Products Questioned
Posted 14 March 2012 | By
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rules governing how radioactive materials are stored and secured are coming under additional scrutiny after a US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report showed physicians were largely untrained and unprepared to accommodate the materials.
Radioactive materials are regularly used in medical devices and cancer treatment, and the security of those materials has generally fallen under the responsibility of hospitals. Post-9/11 concerns about terrorists' abilities to use the radioactive materials to build a so-called 'dirty bomb' prompted tighter rules from the NRC in 2005.
While pre-2005 rules had focused primarily on preventing inadvertent exposures to radioactive elements, NRC's more recent rules were focused primarily on securing radioactive elements and preventing unauthorized access to them. Even inadvertent disposal of the elements can cause deaths and tens of million in cleanup costs, according to The New York Times.
The New York Times - Hospitals With Radioactive Materials Expose Weakness in Antiterror Rules