The Johns Hopkins Gazette: March 17, 2003
March 17, 2003
VOL. 32, NO. 26


Public Health Informs Officials, Workers About Threats Posed by 'Dirty Bombs'

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will hold a daylong conference today to inform public health officials, emergency workers and government agencies about the public health threat posed by "dirty bombs," which are conventional explosives combined with radioactive material.

Topics to be covered at the conference, being held at the Maritime Institute, include the basics of personal protection and treatment; the hazards of various kinds of radiation; and how emergency responders, public health departments and hospitals are preparing to treat casualties from attacks that use conventional or dirty bombs. Participants also will learn how to communicate to the public the risks of bombs and radiation prior to and in the event of an attack.

Jonathan Links, a professor of environmental health sciences at the School of Public Health who is working with Baltimore City to develop a plan for dealing with a dirty bomb or other radiological emergency, is one of the presenters. Other speakers are Christina Catlett, deputy director of Johns Hopkins' Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response and an assistant professor of emergency medicine; Peter Beilenson, commissioner of the Baltimore City Health Department; Ron Addison, chief of Homeland Security for the Baltimore City Fire Department; and members of the city Fire Department HAZMAT and the Police Department.

The conference is sponsored by the School of Public Health's Center for Public Health Preparedness, MidAtlantic Public Health Training Center, Center of Excellence in Community Environmental Health Practice and Public Health Scientists Working to Address Terrorism.