EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS - Preparation of an epidemiological response tool in the event of a sanitary crisis due to a chemical accident

Last updated on 13-2-2020 by Jill Alexandre
November 3, 2014
Project with no end date

Financial Source

Service(s) working on this project

Sciensano's project investigator(s):

In short

During chemical accidents, as the one in Wetteren on 4 May 2013, when a train carrying acrylonitrile derailed, the ability to react quickly is crucial for an epidemiological response and for an assessment of the exposure of the population. The aim of this project is to provide a tool for rapid decision-making in terms of initiating human biomonitoring action in case of a chemical accident, with the aid of an inventory of available biomarkers, analysis techniques and partner laboratories.

Project summary

The goal of this project is to create an emergency preparedness tool that allows Sciensano to be fully prepared when called upon to set up a human biomonitoring action following a chemical accident.

Sanitary crises similar to the one that took place in Wetteren in 2013 may well occur in the future. During this past experience, we found that the ability to respond as quickly as possible is crucial if the exposure of the population and the sanitary risk involved are to be determined.

Human biomonitoring is a good tool for determining exposure levels. It allows the characterisation of the internal exposure of individuals. It also has the advantage of having a larger time window because many substances have a longer persistence in biological tissues than in the environment.

The main objectives of this project are:

  • to determine the substances of primary interest
  • to draw up the inventory of biomarkers available for these substances
  • to provide useful characteristics with respect to these substances
  • to define a network of laboratories capable of performing dosing in the event of a crisis.

This project has no added value in terms of scientific innovation but is valuable for networking with strategic partners.

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