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What if I am outside?

Reducing radiation exposure

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Radiation can settle on your clothing and your body, like dust or mud.

If you can, remove your outer layer of clothing before entering the building. Once inside, wash exposed parts of your body, and put on clean clothing to reduce your radiation exposure and keep radioactive material from spreading.

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  • If you must be outside and cannot get inside immediately, cover your mouth and nose with a mask, cloth, or towel. This can help reduce the amount of potentially harmful particles you breathe.
  • Once inside, go to the basement or the middle of the building. Radioactive material settles on the outside of buildings, so the best thing to do is stay as far away from the walls and roof of the building as you can.

If you must be outside and cannot get inside:

Immediately cover your mouth and nose with a mask, cloth, or towel. This can help reduce the amount of potentially harmful particles you breathe.

If you are in a car, bus, or other vehicle during a radiation emergency:

  • Get inside a building immediately. Cars will not provide protection from radiation. If a brick or concrete multi-story building or basement can be safely reached within a few minutes, go there, however any building is safer than being outside.
  • Once inside, go to the basement or the middle of the building. Radioactive material settles on the outside of buildings, so the best thing to do is stay as far away from the walls and roof of the building as you can.

 

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USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO

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