Hospitals and healthcare facilities should strengthen security efforts around high-risk radiological sources that can be used to build a “dirty bomb,” according to a government report (PDF).
The Government Accountability Office said in a new report that the federal agencies involved in the security of radiological materials should strengthen their security requirements, as well as promote provider participation in a government security upgrade program.
Radiological materials are often found at facilities that treat cancer patients. The radiological materials are vulnerable to theft or misuse, in part because of the small size and portability of the sealed containers.
“A dirty bomb attack in the United States would have serious economic and psychological consequences,” the GAO said in conclusion. “It is therefore in the interest of the federal government to ensure that all high-risk radiological materials in U.S. hospitals and medical facilities are secured as quickly as possible from potential theft or sabotage.”