The Public Health Toxicology Program is responsible for two distinct areas of public health concern: the identification of potential health hazards resulting from exposure to certain chemical or biological agents; and the assessment and subsequent recommendations to abate or reduce any resulting health effects. Some of the major responsibilities include the following:
• Advise the Governor, other state agencies, the federal government, and local governing bodies on matters pertaining to chemical exposures posing a threat to public health or the environment.
• Provide a direct response and disseminate information concerning toxic substances to government agencies, political subdivisions, health professionals, the media, and the general public by developing documents, technical reports, information sheets, advisories, and press releases.
• Issue fish consumption advisories or bans in response to chemical contamination of fish and waterways.
• Conduct disease surveillance for elevated childhood blood lead levels and adult exposure to toxic substances.
• Conduct computerized literature searches on issues of environmental or health concern relating to current governmental standards, guidelines, or regulations.
• Provide consultation and response to emergency operation centers during environmental accidents, natural disasters, and acts of terrorism.