AUTHORZimmerman, Peter D. / Loeb, Cheryl
TITLEDirty Bombs: The Threat Revisited
PERIODICAL TITLEDefense Horizons
DATE PUBLISHED2004
VOLUME NUMBER
ISSUE NUMBER38
PAGE NUMBERS1-11
ISSNn/a
Web Access
Available online from Health Physics Society


This detailed article explores radiological dispersal devices (RDDs), or “dirty bombs,” and their implications on health, safety, and the U.S. national economy. The authors, Peter Zimmerman and Cheryl Loeb, survey general aspects of radiation, including alpha and beta particles and gamma photons, as well as the types of damage caused by radiation. The article describes the possible sources of radioactive isotopes and introduces the incident at Goiânia, Brazil in 1987 as an example of what might be expected if an RDD is used. The authors predict very few casualties as a result of an RDD, even in the long-term, but they do expect devastating economic and psychological effects. Zimmerman and Loeb conclude the article with a number of recommendations to minimize negative economic and psychological factors and to reduce the chances of radiological materials coming into the hands of hostile parties.



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