Surveillance of Chemical Health Threats
The number of chemicals in our society and in our daily lives continues to increase. Accompanying this is an increasing risk of human exposure to and injury from hazardous substances. Chemical hazards can range from those present in industrial manufacturing processes, to those under the kitchen sink of the average household. Performing regular, structured surveillance of chemical exposures and events allows a greater situational awareness with respect to the common chemical hazards causing injury and the frequency of their occurrence as well as providing a better understanding of exposures. This information can be used to introduce measures to better protect public health from hazardous chemical exposures. This chapter aims to give an overview of surveillance for chemical events, including some of the sources which may be used, examples of the types of chemicals involved in exposures and the rationale for conducting regular surveillance and implementing a structured surveillance strategy.