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Toxicology and Disasters

Military and Homeland Security Toxicology Issues

  1. H. Paul A. Illing PhD, FIBiol, FRSC, FRSPH, FIOSH

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat137

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

Illing, H. P. A. 2009. Toxicology and Disasters. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. Paul Illing Consultancy Services Ltd., Wirral, Cheshire, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


Although disasters may take many forms, they include the toxic consequences of large-scale exposure to chemicals due to nature, major accident or deliberate terrorism. This chapter first examines some of the definitions associated with major accident hazards. It then classifies and examines major incidents involving toxic chemicals, including those resulting from nature, those resulting from human activity and those resulting from the interaction between nature and human activity. Included under human activity are disasters arising from escapes from industrial plant, from fire, from food and drink and from environmental pollution. Finally disaster prevention and mitigation is examined, with particular reference to the toxicological inputs into land use and emergency planning.


  • risk analysis;
  • major industrial and natural hazards involving toxicants;
  • examples;
  • fire;
  • food-supply contamination;
  • industrial plant failure;
  • meteorological events;
  • terrorist attacks