Stay Tuned to Learn Where to Get Screened for Radioactive Contamination

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Depending on your location, emergency officials may advise you to get screened for radioactive contamination. These screening locations are called Community Reception Centers, and are part of a larger response activity called Population monitoring.

Population monitoring begins after a radiation emergency and continues until all potentially affected people have been checked for radioactive contamination and evaluated for health effects from radiation exposure.

Population monitoring includes long-term tracking and medical follow-up for people who were exposed to high levels of radiation or contaminated with radioactive material. This stage of Population monitoring could go on for many years after the emergency.

Long-term Registry

Community Reception Centers (CRC)

  • At a Community Reception Center (CRC), services will be available to help people who have been affected by a radiation emergency.
  • Emergency officials will tell you when to go to a community reception center, where the center is located, and the safest route for travel. Act quickly and follow their instructions.
  • Emergency workers will use radiation detectors to look for radioactive contamination. Information on Internal vs External Contamination.
  • If external contamination is found, decontamination facilities will be available. If internal contamination is found, medical experts can provide advice and further information.
  • If you are pregnant or nursing,tell CRC staff so that they can receive additional attention.
  • Some reception centers provide additional services such as:
    • Decontamination for pets
    • Information on available shelters
    • Counseling services
  • Radiation experts will be available to answer questions about radiation and health.
  • People will be asked to register at the reception center. A registry allows emergency responders and medical staff to follow up with people who need immediate health care, and monitor those who have been exposed to radiation.
  • Registrants may be monitored over many years to see if they have health effects from the emergency. These health effects could include effects related to radiation exposure, such as cancer, or effects associated with the stress of being involved in an incident.
  • Public health authorities have a long history of respecting the confidentiality of personal health information, and most states as well as the federal government have laws that govern the use of, and serve to protect, identifiable information collected by public health authorities.
Page last reviewed: October 22, 2020
Content source: National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Emergency Management, Radiation, and Chemical Branch