Welcome to Biomedicine & Prevention

Biomedicine & Prevention is a peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes original research articles as well as review articles in several areas of the life sciences. The journal’s Editorial Board covers several subject areas mainly focusing on prevention and health promotion. Prevention is covered not as an exclusive health competence discipline but in a holistic way, including environmental sciences, engineering, physics, legal implications and legislation.


CBRN emergencies are unpredictable and might involve a huge number of peo-ple, causing public alarm and serious risks to the health of the population and the environment. Each country has to be prepared to face CBRN emergencies with an integrated, rapid and effective approach by early establishing the overall risk for the exposed population, measuring and minimizing the impact on population and environment, as well as restoring resilience. The Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Eco-nomic Development (ENEA) encompasses a large part of the skills and instru-ments necessary for an integrated approach to CBRN emergency. In particular, within the ENEA Division of Health Protection Technologies, several activities and international projects have been developed in the field of CBRN management during last decades. Here we summarize some of our achievements with the aim to contribute to the ‘Culture of Security’ and lay the foundations for collaborative networks.

How to CBRN-proof Your Hospital

Although CBRN agents are ranked high in the international threats’ estimate, preparedness and response are not equally addressed. The medical sector that would be the final receptor of all contaminated/wounded casualties following a real asymmetric terrorist incident in an urban environment is still the weak link in all emergency response plans. This paper provides proof of hospitals’ unpreparedness worldwide, addresses possible reasons of why this is happening and provides an outline of actions should be taken in order to CBRN-proof a hospital giving emphasis to the fact that the unexpected always happens.

Gemelli Hospital Emergency Plan for Radiological Accident: role and cooperation of health physicist in contaminated victims management

The aim of this project is to explain the Gemelli Hospital Emergency Plan during a radiological event, which causes the arrival of victims contami-nated with radioactive material. Special attention is given to the radiopro-tection aspects of patient management and to the protection of first re-sponders. The expert in health physics plays a central role in this organization. The health physicist promptly gives details to medical staff about level of patient's external and internal contamination in order to choose the most suitable treatments and to avoid the secondary contamina-tion. Through direct and / or indirect measures the health physicist esti-mates absorbed dose and manages potentially contaminated waste dispos-al. Our plan provides the management of a limited number of patients (n=20). In April 2016 the hospital was involved in a demonstration of the plan within the 'Eden European Project' and treated a potentially contaminated worker from Triga reactor in Enea Casaccia arrived in the hospital.

The ItRC Volunteer Military Corps: Role of Civil Protection and Civil Defense in CBRN Emergencies

Volunteer Military Corps is a fundamental component of the Italian Red Cross Society, an humanitarian organization operating for health and social assistance without discrimination regarding race, nationality, religious beliefs, social class or political opinions, in adherence with Geneva Conventions and Red Cross Principles, The Volunteer Military Corps (ItRC MC), Auxiliary of Italian Armed Forces, has been always employed for responding to the consequences to national and international emergencies (Italian Red Cross or Ministry of De-fense/Italian Armed Forces activation) with Field Hospital, Advanced Medical Post, Mobile Health-logistics Units and CBRN Decontamination Units. Nowadays, ItRC MC is cooperating with the Italian Navy for first aid, search and rescue operations, humanitarian assistance to migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. In particular, since 2014 ItRC has been operating in deploying biocontain-ment units in bio-emergency scenario and coordinating a CBRN decontamina-tion and bio-containment response team (AMET-BIO Unit).

Dirty Bomb Drones, Physical-Logical Urban Protection Systems and Explosive/Radiological Materials regulation’s challenges in the Age of Globalization

The drones or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) may become CBRNe “tool” developed for terroristic warfare, working as a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD) or Radiological Exposure Device (RED) carrier. RDD application such as “dirty” bomb UAS is capable of spreading radioactive materials over a wide area, through the detonation of conventional explosives payload. RED drones could deliver a radioactive source, exposing potential victims to radiation. The above-mentioned could produce radiological hazards and significant social-economic damage, especially in RDD case. On the one hand, this paper aims to explore the potential related to the radiological threat, especially represented by dirty bomb drones, considering: low cost UAS technology; illicit trafficking of radioactive waste/radiological sources for civil use; RDD fairly simple manufacturing process; RDD components supply (including explosives precursor ingredients) in the open and globalized market; a drone can cross the fences/frontiers very simply, in the rough areas and flying so low that it could not be detected avoiding any checks (this may concern both the illegal payload and the drone). On the other hand, this work presents existing legal frameworks to explosives, radiological materials and drones supply chains, in the light of the Civil Aviation Authority regulation and Nuclear Security laws at both Na-tional and International level. Finally, this study analyses comprehen-sive/integrated technological countermeasures countering an ongoing dirty bomb drones attack.