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Title: Introduction to the Health Protection Agency and its Role in Chemical Incident Response


1
Introduction to the Health Protection Agency and
its Role in Chemical Incident Response
Andy McParland Centre for Radiation, Chemical
and Environmental Hazards 8th November 2012
2
Introduction
  • Part 1. Overview of the HPA and CRCE
  • Background and Structure of HPA CRCE
  • Functions of CRCE
  • Part 2. Chemical Incident Response
  • Acute Incidents
  • Chronic Environmental Public Health Concerns
  • HPA Resources

3
Part 1. Overview of HPA CRCE
4
Health Protection Agency
  • Independent non-departmental government body,
    created from existing organisations on 1st April
    2003
  • HPA Act 2004
  • Protect the community (or any part of the
    community) against infectious diseases and other
    dangers to health
  • Civil Contingencies Act 2004
  • Category One responder
  • Provide expert support and advice
  • Infectious disease, radiation, chemicals,
    poisons, emergency response
  • 24 hour service

5
Structure of the Health Protection Agency
HPA Board
Executive Group
CRCE/Radiation, Chemical and Environment
(Chilton and Regional)
Microbiology Services (Porton, Colindale and
Regional)
NIBSC/Biological Standards and Controls
(Potters Bar)
Health Protection Services (Colindale and
Regional)
Corporate Services
6
Health Protection Services
  • Nine English regions
  • Gateway to HPA at a local level
  • Health Protection Units
  • 1 HPU/ 2 million head of population
  • CsCDC/ Consultants in HP/ HP Specialists
  • Link to Director of Public Health at PCT (now in
    LA)
  • Supported by national centres

7
Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental
Hazards
  • Centre HQ at Chilton, Oxon
  • Formerly two divisions (merged in 2009)
  • Radiation Protection Division
  • Chemical Hazards Poisons Division
  • Specialist units/ teams
  • Nationally-based across
  • England
  • Wales
  • Scotland

8
CRCE Chemical Units
  • CRCE Chemical Units (England)
  • 4 areas covering several Government areas but
    acting as a national department
  • Close links with CRCE Wales as similar functions
  • Link to Health Protection Scotland for chemical
    issues (via CRCE Nottingham)
  • CRCE Wales
  • Sole HPA unit in Wales
  • Extreme Events Health Protection Section

9
CRCE Chemical Units
  • Offices
  • Birmingham Manchester
  • Chilton Bristol
  • London
  • Nottingham Newcastle
  • Cardiff

10
CRCE Chemical Units main functions (1)
  • Emergency response
  • Local
  • National
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Planning
  • Exercising
  • Chronic cases
  • E.g. Contaminated land, cluster investigation,
    private water supplies

11
CRCE Chemical Units main functions (2)
  • Consultations
  • Environmental Permitting (EP)
  • Planning applications
  • National consultations (IPC, NSIP)
  • Applied research and development
  • Improving the evidence base
  • European projects
  • Advice
  • Position statements
  • Chemical Research Reports

12
The Future
  • Public Health White Paper
  • Public Health England
  • Transition 1st April 2013

13
Part 2. Chemical Incident Response
14
Chemical Incidents
  • Any event leading to exposure of two or more
    individuals to any substance resulting in illness
    or potentially toxic threat to health.
  • Hill and OSullivan (1992)
  • Examples
  • Fire
  • Explosion
  • Release / Spillage
  • Water pollution
  • Food contamination
  • Transport-related

15
HPA Role in Chemical Incidents
  • Undertake assessment of public health risk
  • Provision of advice and support to first line
    responders
  • PCTs and Directors of Public Health
  • other agencies (e.g. local authorities, NHS,
    emergency responders etc)
  • the public
  • Clinical Treatment Advice via National Poisons
    Information Service (NPIS) through TOXBASE
    website and 24hour phone number
  • http//www.hpa.org.uk/ProductsServices/ChemicalsPo
    isons/PoisonsInformationService/NationalPoisonsInf
    ormationService/

16
Incidents Reported to CRCE in 2010
17
Chemical Incidents Who Responds?
  • Blue light services deal with the initial
    incident.
  • AEs deal with casualties.
  • Public health aspects are dealt with by the HPA
    PCT. The HPA is a Category 1 Responder under
    the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.
  • NHS Direct, GPs, PCTs deal with queries regarding
    individuals health.
  • Other stakeholders likely to be involved Local
    Authority, Environment Agency, Food Standards
    Agency, Health and Safety Executive, Met. Office,
    Media.

18
Fires
19
Chemical Fatalities
20
Air Quality Cell (AQC)
  • A virtual multi-agency advisory group which can
    be convened during a major incident to
    co-ordinate air monitoring and modelling.
  • Partners include EA, HPA, Met Office, HSL, FSA
    others.
  • It aims to provide timely (interpreted) air
    quality and air modelling information to the
    Science and Technical Advice Cell (if formed), or
    to a multi-agency group.

21
Chronic Environmental Public Health Concerns
  • Advice and support is also given with respect to
    chronic incidents.
  • Example areas of support to local authorities
  • Contamination of private drinking water supplies
  • Health concerns from industrial emissions
  • Contaminated school play areas/allotments
  • Health implications of nuisance dust
  • Fuel spillages affecting residential properties
  • Alleged cancer clusters near industrial premises

22
The Avenue Coking Works
  • Former Avenue Coking Works, Chesterfield.

23
Resources
  • Compendium of Chemical Hazards
  • General Information
  • Provides background information on the compound,
    including its uses and 'frequently asked
    questions.
  • Incident Management
  • Focuses on information that may be needed during
    chemical incidents, such as physicochemical
    properties, health effects and decontamination.
  • Toxicological Overview
  • Provides more in-depth toxicology.
  • http//www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/ChemicalsAndPoisons/C
    ompendiumOfChemicalHazards/

24
Compendium of Chemical Hazards
25
Land Contamination Publications
  • http//www.hpa.org.uk/Publications/ChemicalsPoison
    s/LandContamination/

26
Checklists for Chemical Incident Management
  • Acute incidents, e.g. chemical spills
  • Non domestic fires
  • Water incidents
  • Sheltering or evacuation decisions
  • Land contamination
  • Flooding incidents
  • http//www.hpa.org.uk/HPA/ProductsServices/Chemica
    lsPoisons/ChemicalRiskAssessment/1158313435104/

27
Factsheets for the Public
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Mercury
  • Lead Incidents
  • Chemicals in toys
  • Petroleum products incidents
  • Odour
  • http//www.hpa.org.uk/HPA/ProductsServices/Chemica
    lsPoisons/ChemicalRiskAssessment/1158313435037/

28
Internal Action Cards Guidance
  • Bioaerosols from composting sites
  • http//hpanet/webc/HPAnetFile/HPAnet_C/13099700435
    16
  • Carbon monoxide action card
  • http//hpanet/webc/HPAnetFile/HPAnet_C/12572604800
    33
  • Elevated concentrations of nitrate and nitrite in
    drinking water
  • http//hpanet/webc/HPAnetFile/HPAnet_C/12495429933
    40
  • Lead action card
  • http//www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1274
    092896741
  • Asbestos Toolkit Responding to fires involving
    asbestos
  • http//hpanet/webc/HPAnetFile/HPAnet_C/12076390822
    32

29
CHaP Reports http//www.hpa.org.uk/Publication
s/ChemicalsPoisons/ChemicalHazardsandPoisonsReport
s/
  • Incident response lessons learned guidance
  • Emergency planning and preparedness
  • Training

30
HPA Chemical Research Reports
  • HPA CHaPD 001 Review of Environmental Chemicals
    and Neurotoxicity Focus on Neurological
    Diseases
  • HPA CHaPD 002 Review of Chemical Toxicity to the
    Reproductive System, with Particular Reference to
    Developmental Toxicity
  • HPA CHaPD 003 The Public Health Significance of
    Asbestos Exposures from Large Scale Fires
  • HPA CHaPD 004 A Toxicological Review of the
    Products of Combustion
  • http//www.hpa.org.uk/Publications/ChemicalsPoison
    s/ChemicalResearchReports/

31
Position Documents
  • Health Impacts of Operating Landfill Sites
  • http//www.hpa.org.uk/NewsCentre/NationalPressRele
    ases/2011PressReleases/110728Landfillnorisk/
  • Intensive Farming
  • http//www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1194
    947378905
  • Health Impacts of emissions to air from municipal
    waste incinerators 
  • http//www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1266
    228112244

32
Any Questions?
Andy McParland CRCE (Nottingham) Email
Andy.McParland_at_hpa.org.uk
T 0844 225 4524 E
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