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Survey on European methodologies in the risk assessment of chemical exposures in emergency response situations
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2013 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Survey on European methodologies in the risk assessment of chemical exposures in emergency response situations. Prevention or mitigation of human health effects is often the major determinant underlying chemical incident prevention policy and emergency response decisions. The ability to perform a human health risk assessment is a prerequisite for effective chemical incident prevention, preparedness and response. To identify knowledge gaps, needs and concerns relating to health risks from chemical incidents, a web-based survey was sent to various groups of stakeholders. The release of acutely toxic substances and irritating/corrosive substances appeared to be the most important risk scenario. Almost 40% of the respondents also expected a future increase of chemical terrorism or sabotage. Developments in nanotechnology were perceived as potential future risk drivers although more information is needed on the health hazards of nanoparticles. A high number of respondents also expressed concern for the consequences of globalization, international trade and higher industry efficiency demands on health risks through chemical incidents. Acute Exposure Reference Values (AERVs) were considered important cornerstones but a need was expressed for recommendations on their use for the management of chemical emergencies. Based on this survey, it is advised to develop European consensus on an authoritative methodology to derive AERVs, to design a process for their implementation and to provide guidance and training on their practical application. Attention should be paid to the widely used acutely toxic and irritating/corrosive substances, to specific endpoints such as carcinogenicity and reproductive toxicity and new and emerging chemicals. Research should focus on developing plausible scenarios for emerging human health risks from chemical incidents to allow better prioritisation of future risk assessments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bilthoven: National Institute of Public Health and the Environment , 2013. , 69 p.
, RIVM report, 320300002/2013
Keyword [en]
chemical incident, acute exposure, human health risks, risk assessment
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-56610OAI: diva2:536103
Available from: 2012-06-21 Created: 2012-06-21 Last updated: 2015-12-28Bibliographically approved

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Leffler, Per
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Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Environmental Health and Occupational Health

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