and liquid airborne particles, typically ranging in size from 0.001
to 100 μm. Mists, fumes, and dusts are all
examples of aerosols.
Alpha Particles: The largest and
weakest radioactive particles and comprised of two protons plus
two neutrons. Alpha particles do not travel far and are stopped
by virtually any physical barrier. Internalized alpha particles
can cause significant cellular damage.
BCN: Acronym for biological, chemical,
Beta Particles: High-energy electron
or positron (a positively charged electron) emitted from a nucleus
with a variable amount of energy usually as a result of radioactive
fallout and capable of traveling a meter through air and many millimeters
into tissue. Internalized beta particles cause extensive damage
to the tissues.
Bioterrorism: The intentional use
of any microorganism, virus, infectious substance, or biological
product to cause death, disease, or other biological malfunction
in a human, an animal, a plant, or another living organism. Commonly
used, as in the case with this book, to also encompass chemical
and radiological terrorism as well.
Contact Precautions: Contact precautions
include standard precautions plus placing patients in a private
or semiprivate room; wearing gloves and gown if contact with the
patient is anticipated or if the patient has diarrhea; a colostomy
or drainage of a wound not covered by a dressing; limiting the movement
or transport of the patient from the room; and ensuring bedside
equipment, frequently touched surfaces and other patient-care items
are being cleaned daily. Contact precautions are recommended for
patients with severe gastrointestinal, dermatologic, or wound infections
that may be transmitted easily by touching the patient or by handling
objects the patient has touched, especially if the infection is
caused by a multidrug-resistant organism.
Diffusion: The movement of fluid
particles from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration.
Dose–Response: A gradient
of risk or effect that is associated with the “dose” or
degree of exposure. The therapeutic (or toxic) effect of material
absorbed over a given period (the dose) varies according to the
circumstances of exposure.
Epidemic: The occurrence in a community
or region of a group of similar conditions of public health importance
in excess of normal expectancy and derived from a common source.
Gamma Rays: Deeply penetrating
energy waves similar to x-rays but higher in energy (therefore of
a shorter wavelength), capable of traveling many centimeters into
tissues and causing ionization. Emitted from the nucleus of a
Gas: Formless fluids that tend
to occupy an entire space uniformly under ordinary temperatures.
Half-Life: The time taken for the
activity of a radionuclide to lose half its value by decay.
HAN (Health Alert Network): Restricted
website designed for state and local health directors to securely
view posted documents, submit/collect data, obtain town/district
specific aggregate data, enter planned absences, e-mail, view bulletin ...