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The public health impact of industrial disasters

Mark E. Keim, MD


The recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Japanese earthquake/tsunami radiation disaster have increased public concerns regarding the public health impact of industrial disasters. Industrial disasters are known to impose a unique set of challenges for public health emergency response. There are critical gaps in scientific knowledge regarding assessment and control of public health disasters related to industrial releases of hazardous materials. There is also a fundamental lack of familiarity regarding industrial disasters among the public health and medical communities, in general. There are few sources in the current public health literature that review this disaster phenomenon in a comprehensive manner. This article offers a review of the public health impact and unique considerations related to industrial disasters.


industrial disasters, technological disasters, emergency response, public health emergency, hazardous materials

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