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Contaminating chemical terrorism: getting the facts.

Vanderford ML; Niemeier R; Lee S; Benton LD
APHA 131st Annual Meeting and Exposition, San Francisco, California, November 15-19, 2003. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 2003 Nov; :71361
In the event of contaminating chemical terrorism or another public health disaster, the ability to convey accurate, consistent health information to an audience of diverse stakeholders rapidly is crucial to coordinating and facilitating the public health system's response. The information needs of an emergency responder vary from those of medical providers and from those of the public. Often, for these audiences, the immediate and long-term concerns about a contaminating agent diverge. Depending on the nature of the inquiry and the contaminating agent, relevant information may exist across private and public agencies or not at all, precipitating futile searches when time is crucial. For events of contaminating chemical terrorism these information needs represent unique challenges because of the lack of a central repository and lack of funding to produce fact sheets focused for the diverse audiences. Under these constraints work is under way to produce chemical fact sheets and guidelines as templates that can be quickly disseminated for information to first responders, medical personnel, and the public in an emergency. We will discuss the accomplishments and challenges to date, in this process of identifying and convening the local, state, and federal stakeholders and sharing resources as a working group to consolidate and distribute chemical terrorism information.
Chemical-properties; Chemical-warfare-agents; Public-health; Emergency-responders; Emergency-response; Medical-personnel; Emergency-care
Education and Information Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Pkwy, Cincinnati, OH 45226
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APHA 131st Annual Meeting and Exposition, San Francisco, California, November 15-19, 2003
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division