A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Medical Management of Man-Made and Natural Toxic Disasters

  • Peter J. Baxter
Part of the NATO book series (NATS, volume 14)


The medical management of major toxic releases involving the exposure of large numbers of people is often poorly handled, whether the route of exposure is by air, food or water (1). Toxic releases usually arise from industrial activity but natural sources, such as volcanoes, may pose similar problems. A common fault of the emergency response is the delay, for a variety of reasons, in the identification of the agent or agents involved and in evaluating the health risk posed (1). The task of health risk assessment needs to be urgently performed in a major toxic incident, but it requires a multidisciplinary approach that may be difficult to launch in an emergency or disaster. In this chapter I shall describe some of the uses and limitations of the major disciplines that need to be involved, beginning with a classical toxic disaster in the workplace as a starting point for the study of toxic releases in the community.


Vinyl Chloride Federal Emergency Management Agency Crystalline Silica Hydrogen Cyanide Porphyria Cutanea Tarda 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Baxter
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Cambridge Clinical School Addenbrooke’s HospitalCambridgeEngland

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