06 August 2003 17:11 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--Britain’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) said it will focus over the next five years on new targets, such as childhood health problems, illness caused by long-term exposure to chemicals, and predicting and preparing for new diseases, like Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome).
The agency, created in April this year, believes it can bring new techniques and research to bear on emerging threats to public health and childhood exposure to chemicals and radiation.
It would develop close working links between the different bodies charged with minimising harm from acute and chronic chemical and poisons exposures at the national and local level.
The agency was created by merging The Public Health Laboratory Service, the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research, based at Porton Down, Wiltshire, the National Focus for Chemical Incidents, regional support units for the management of chemical incidents, the National Poisons Information Service, and National Health Service (NHS) staff responsible for the control of infectious disease, emergency planning and other health protection support.
HPA added it would be able to develop the skills and capacity to assess and to deal with the public health impact of chronic chemical exposures, such as those from landfill sites, incinerators and industrial emissions.
In its five-year corporate plan, the agency said that growth of the global market has dramatically increased the range of chemicals and routes by which the population can be exposed to potentially toxic hazards.
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