An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Enhancing Capability and Capacity of The Maryland Radiation Laboratory to Respond to Food Radiological Incidents and Provide Continuing Radiological Surveillance


PROJECT ABSTRACT The Laboratories Administration, like many other state public health laboratories, is stillseeking additional resources to further develop its capabilities and capacities for radiologicalfood safety and surveillance monitoring. Maryland's Public Health Laboratory is designatedas an LRN Level 2 Lab. This cooperative agreement would support the national program goalsand that of Maryland's emergency radiological food testing and surveillance program. It woulda l s o provide the only routine radiological lab services within 90 miles of Baltimore and theNational Capital Region, a region with a population of over 6MM people. It is home to oneof the largest sea- and airport in the Nation and, by surrounding the District of Columbia on threesides, includes a major portion of the National Capital Region. Maryland faces a range ofradiological challenges, both man-made and naturally occurring that can manifest themselves inour food supply. It presents significant challenges for food protection with an intimate mix ofurban and rural environments and activities. It has one nuclear power plant at Calvert Cliffs andone nuclear power plant on its border with Pennsylvania at Peach Bottom. Additionally, thecentral and eastern half of the State lies within the ingestion pathway zones of three nuclear powerplants. In terms of naturally occurring sources, western Maryland sits upon the Marcellus Shaleformation that runs along the western panhandle of the State joining West Virginia andPennsylvania, a known source of radioactivity which is also a potential fracking site for naturalgas recovery. The Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay has a potential issue with radon and otherradionuclides released from the aquifers that are used to provide irrigation water in Maryland.The State has both a significant ethnic population of diverse cultural backgrounds and a regularhigh level of both international and interstate travelers. Recognizing the risk to the state's residents due to the potential impacts to our drinkingwater and food supply, we need to establish baseline data by conducting environmentalsurveillance monitoring for radiation from various agricultural, mining, and manufacturingcommunities where there is potentially the risk of exposure to environmental radiological hazards.The Laboratories Administration has chosen a list of radiological compounds to detect andmeasure in food commodities that are of interest to Maryland. By this application, theAdministration proposes to further develop and maintain a food safety and surveillancemonitoring of food commodities for radiological contamination. In support of this cooperativeagreement, the Laboratories Administration will focus a substantial portion of this proposaltowards developing methods, willingly participate i n laboratory preparedness exercises, drills,and PTs, food emergency responses, obtain and maintain ISO 17025 accreditation for all testsutilized for this project, redirect routine testing when FERN is activated in order to better serveFERN's mission, and allocate appropriate funding for staff to travel to training orconferences/meetings. The Administration further propose to develop and maintain this project by recruitingand hiring a contractual staff, purchase instrument and equipment, lab supplies, develop andimplement a sampling plan, and conduct project evaluation and assessment. The LaboratoriesAdministration proposes to carry out this project in Year 1 with a requested funding of $240,000and continue in Years 2 through 5 with a budget of $960,000.1

Kassim, Prince A
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Start date
End date
Project number