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Public health often has to respond to concerns from the public when there is a mass exposure to a toxic substance (e.g., sarin and hydrogen sulphide gas). Alternatively, public health may need to explain that a toxic exposure has occurred to an unsuspecting and unaware public. This presentation will provide a framework for how to broadly deal with large public exposures to toxic agents. Beginning with the basics of risk assessment, presenter Dr. Shaun Hosein will move on to discuss the role of some key agencies such as poison centres and their novel role in these events and information about chemical antidote stockpiling. The presentation will conclude with a discussion on the psychological aspects of mass exposures to toxic compounds.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.
Presenter: Dr. Shaun Hosein
Dr. Shaun Hosein is a senior resident in Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Calgary and is completing dual subspecialty training in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology. He has a master of Critical Care Medicine from the University of Calgary. His major area of interest is public health toxicology, which looks at the interactions of toxicants with populations. He takes calls at the Ontario Poison Centre but a majority of his work is done in the areas of integrating/promoting poison centre surveillance and the development of a national poison centre database. He works with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)/Health Canada in the area of disaster preparedness, where he sits on two working groups involved with PHAC’s national emergency strategic stockpile and provides toxicological consultation to Health Canada’s chemical emergency response unit.
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