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8 Activities of the Russian Federal Medical- Biological Agency Related to Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Security* Vladimir V. Romanov, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA) and Chief State Sanitary Physician for Organizations and Territories Served by FMBA Organizationally, the Russian Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA) is a unified complex of clinical, prophylactic, sanitary, antiepidemic, and research organizations whose activities are aimed at improving working conditions for personnel in especially hazardous industries and detecting and eliminating the effects of harmful physical, chemical, and biological factors on the health of workers and the public living near dangerous facilities. The agency includes 92 clinical-prophylactic facilities (central medical-sanitary units, medical-sanitary units, and clinical hospitals), 19 scientific research institutes, 42 regional (inter- regional) offices, and 63 hygiene and epidemiology centers. Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2007, FMBA is the successor of the Third Main Administration of the USSR Ministry of Health, which was organized in 1947 to provide medical and sanitary-hygiene support for efforts to create nuclear weapons. The administration was later assigned tasks related to monitoring work- ing conditions for chemical weapons industry workers and for handling disease- prevention measures both for manned space flights and for organizations working with pathogenic microorganisms in hazard classes 1-4. â *Translated from the Russian by Kelly Robbins. 70
ACTIVITIES OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERAL MEDICAL-BIOLOGICAL AGENCY 71 In accordance with existing Russian Federation legislation, FMBA is respon- sible for medical-sanitary support functions and state sanitary-epidemiological monitoring for organizations in certain industries in which working conditions are particularly hazardous and for the population in certain areas (Decree of the Russian Federation President No. 1304, On the Federal Medical-Biological Agency, dated October 11, 2004; Russian Federation Government Resolution No. 789, Issues Regarding the Federal Medical-Biological Agency, dated December 15, 2004; and Russian Federation Government Resolution No. 206, On the Fed- eration Medical-Biological Agency, dated April 11, 2005). It also performs state regulatory functions related to the use of nuclear power (Russian Federation Gov- ernment Resolution No. 412, On Federal Executive Branch Agencies Involved in State Management of the Use of Nuclear Power and State Regulation of Safety in the Use of Nuclear Power, dated July 3, 2006). There is no comparable organiza- tion in the United States that focuses on very hazardous environments at nuclear, chemical, and biological facilities. According to Russian Federation government directives (No. 1156-r of Au- gust 21, 2006, and No. 1745-r of December 16, 2006), the list of entities served by FMBA includes all of the main radiation-, chemical-, and biological-hazard organizations operating under the auspices of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency, the Federal Industrial Agency, the Federal Oversight Service for the Protection of Consumer Rights and Human Welfare, and other executive branch agencies of the federal government and the various jurisdictions in which those organiza- tions are located. FMBA carries out its activities both directly and through its subsidiary local monitoring offices and organizations. The local offices and FMBA hygiene and epidemiology centers are part of the unified system of agencies and institutions responsible for state sanitary-epidemiological oversight in the Russian Federa- tion. Policies and procedures governing their activities are set forth in Russian Federation Government Resolution No. 569, Statute on the Provision of State Sanitary-Epidemiological Oversight in the Russian Federation, dated September 15, 2005. The scientific research institutes under FMBAâs auspices provide scientific support for the activities of the agencyâs practical health care institutions, local offices, and hygiene and epidemiology centers. They study the health status of assigned populations and provide state sanitary-epidemiological oversight in the development of regulatory-legal acts on monitoring of organizations presenting radiation, chemical, and other hazards. Furthermore, FMBAâs scientific research institutes have produced funda- mental results in studying the effects of ionizing radiation on the human body, radiobiology, and radiation medicine and hygiene and in developing medical preparations that protect against radiation and chemical impacts and individual gear and devices that protect the respiratory systems and skin of workers at radiation-hazard facilities. The institutes have also made progress in the area of
72 COUNTERING TERRORISM biological instrument manufacturing, new-generation vaccine development, and research on the immune status of workers at hazardous facilities, among other developments. The State Science CenterâInstitute of Biophysics includes Russiaâs only clinical department specializing in the treatment of radiation-related conditions (the Occupational Pathology Department) and also features an emergency medi- cal dosimetry center. The center was created as an emergency response unit. It is functionally included in the Federal Atomic Energy Agencyâs Crisis Center and is responsible for providing support for the activities of FMBA local offices and institutions in the assessment of the radiation situation in areas affected by radiation accidents and in management decision making on emergency response measures by FMBA subunits. FMBAâs accumulated expertise and the many research developments it has made in the areas of radiation, chemical, and biological safety must undoubtedly be used to protect the population of the Russian Federation from the current level of terrorist threats. FMBA is open to cooperation and is prepared to work within the framework of joint U.S.-Russian research projects to prevent threats of high- technology terrorism.