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Homeland Security

Proposed Guidance for Protecting Responders' Health During the First Week Following a Wide-Area Anthrax Attack

The proposed guidance recommends protective measures for responders such as personal protective equipment, medical countermeasures, and personal decontamination procedures. Responders include public health and medical professionals, skilled support personnel, essential workers in critical infrastructure sectors, certain federal and private sector employees, and volunteers.

Developed by a federal working group consisting of experts from more than a dozen agencies relating to biodefense, infectious diseases, and occupational health and safety, the proposed guidance reflects the most current understanding of the unique environment that would exist after a wide-area anthrax attack. It comes in response to a 2008 Homeland Security Council tasking requiring the development of appropriate measures for responders in the immediate post-attack environment of an aerosolized anthrax attack.

The proposed guidance is also intended to support ongoing planning and preparation efforts for protecting responders engaged in environmental sampling and remediation, as well as others in responder roles.

Comment Period

The Comment period closed November 27, 2009. To view the docket, please visit docket number = DHS-2009-0091

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