Hospitals and research centers in the United States and around the world are addressing concerns about radiological security, safety and liability by replacing blood irradiators that use radioactive cesium-137 with safe, effective, FDA-approved X-ray technology.
In addition to the important health and safety concerns associated with a radiological attack, hospitals and research centers face considerable liability and reputation risks. Replacing cesium-137 sources with X-ray technology protects those without insurance to cover losses associated with acts of terrorism—losses that easily could cause financial devastation for an institution responsible for paying huge damages in the wake of a dirty bomb explosion using stolen material.
If an institution chooses to continue using cesium-137 devices, those who oversee operations including radiation, health, safety and security department, have an obligation to ensure the devices are used in a safe and secure matter, compliant with state and/or federal regulations. They also must inform senior management about risks associated with the devices. End users, including doctors, technicians, and researchers, also should be informed about security risks and threats, and provided with information about alternative technologies.