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Chemicals & Poisons


Every day in Britain, chemical incidents occur which threaten people's health. Such threats might involve chemical fires, chemical contamination of the environment, or the deliberate release of chemicals and poisons. Old tyres catch fire releasing clouds of toxic smoke, acid leaks out of a tanker creating noxious gas or an explosion rips through an industrial plant.

We provide authoritative scientific and medical advice to the NHS and other bodies about the known health effects of chemicals, poisons and other environmental hazards.


Poison information service reports

Poisoning accounts for more than 100,000 NHS hospital admissions in the UK each year. Many thousands of different agents are involved and the appropriate management of poisoning is therefore a major task for the NHS.

 The 2011-2012 NPIS annual report is now available.

›› Poison information service reports

Remediation and environmental decontamination

The UK Recovery Handbook for Chemical Incidents (UKRHCI) is a guidance document specifically designed to aid decisions in managing the recovery phase of a chemical incident where contamination has affected food production systems, inhabited areas and water environments.

Download the handbook

›› Remediation and environmental decontamination

Chemical Incident Surveillance

Chemical incidents need to be detected early so that effective action can be taken to protect public health. Response and surveillance systems are therefore essential to the Agency's role, along with research to evaluate the effects of exposure

›› Chemical Incident Surveillance

Compendium of Chemical Hazards

The Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards is producing a series entitled a Compendium of Chemical Hazards.  The style and content have been developed following extensive joint working across the HPA.

›› Compendium of Chemical Hazards

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Compendium of Chemical Hazards