"Public officials are charged with the responsibility to protect the health of the public during hazardous incidents. The purpose of this manual is to assist these officials in establishing emergency response plans and in making decisions during a nuclear incident. It provides radiological protection guidance that may be used for responding to any type of nuclear incident or radiological emergency, except nuclear war. [...] The manual begins with a general discussion of Protective Action Guides (PAGs) and their use in planning for protective actions to safeguard public health. It then presents PAGs for specific exposure pathways and associated time periods. These PAGs apply to all types of nuclear incidents. This is followed by guidance for the implementation of PAGs. Finally, appendices provide definitions, background information on health risks, and other information supporting the choice of the numerical values of the PAGs. PAGs for protection from an airborne plume during the early phase of an incident at a nuclear power plant were published in the 1980 edition of this manual. These have now been revised to apply to a much broader range of situations and replace the PAGs formerly published in Chapters 2 and 5. Recommendations and background information for protection from ingestion of contaminated food were published by the Food and Drug Administration in 1982. These are reprinted here as Chapter 3 and Appendix D. Recommendations for PAGs for relocation are presented in Chapters 4 and 7."
United States. Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/