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Radiation Emergencies
Emergency Response:

Setting Guidelines to Protect the Public

Ready to Respond
EPA Personnel Respond to a Radiological Emergency at a Superfund Site

EPA Personnel Respond
to a Radiological Emergency
at a Superfund Site

During a radiological emergency, public health officials must act quickly to protect public health. EPA has developed a Manual of Protective Action Guidelines (PAGs) to help officials make critical decisions. These guidelines identify the radiation levels at which State and local officials should take various actions to protect human health during an accident.

State and local officials also use PAGs to develop their emergency response plans and to guide preparation of their response exercises. EPA's PAGs are widely distributed to the nuclear industry and local, State, and Federal officials.

PAGs identify three phases of an emergency: early, intermediate, and late.

During an actual emergency, the Federal agencies may activate an Advisory Group on Environment, Food, and Health, which is chaired by the EPA, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the Department of Agriculture, depending upon the nature of the accident. This group would make recommendations on protective actions to the Coordinating Federal Agency and state officials.

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