chapter  41
8 Pages

Psychosocial Effects of Radiation Accidents

Introduction ....................................................................................................................................519 Key Features of Radiation Accidents ............................................................................................519 Psychological Effects .....................................................................................................................520 High-Risk Groups ..........................................................................................................................521 Social Impacts ................................................................................................................................522 Psychosocial Effects — Implications for Radiation Accident Preparedness and Response........522 Conclusion......................................................................................................................................524 References ......................................................................................................................................524

Accidents involving radiation can have profound psychosocial effects on individuals, families, and communities. Indeed, it is evident from recent experience and research that psychosocial impacts can be among the most significant and challenging consequences of radiation accidents. It is crucial, therefore, for radiation accident emergency plans and training to include a robust psychosocial component. Similarly, emergency and postemergency response efforts need to include provisions for addressing a full range of psychosocial impacts. This chapter briefly reviews the current understanding of psychosocial issues and highlights several implications for radiation accident management.