PPE 2 There is a mixed ability to respond to serious chemical incidents in the European Community (EU), especially where those incidents have the potential to be of cross-border significance. For events affecting, or with the potential to affect public health, there are a number of legal requirements that have been put in place to notify neighbouring countries of the incidents that may have a wide health impact and to facilitate mutual sharing of information between countries (e.g. through the International  Health Regulation; IHR 2005). A European legal instrument on serious cross border health threats to aid in the coordination of the risk assessment and management of emerging transboundary public health threats (Decision 1082/2013/EU) came into force on the 5th November 2013.


Efforts to develop a European notification system to promote a rapid response to a cfhemical event have been successful, with the development of the rapid alerting system for chemicals (RASCHEM), due to go live this year. RASCHEM has been developed along with a set of guidelines to govern its usage; other documents that support the risk assessment and risk management of such events were derived in earlier EU-funded projects. These documents will be consolidated and tested to produce guidelines that could be used for the coordinated management of chemical incidents of cross-border significance.

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  • The European Parliment and the Council of European Union (EU Council) have adopted a Decision (1082/2013/EU) in serious cross border threats to health, which came into force on the 5th November 2013. The Decision sets provisions on notification, ad-hoc monitoring and coordination of public health measures following serious cross border threats to health from biological, chemical, environmental events as well as events that have an unknown origin.

Coming Up

Next Project Event: International workshop on cross border chemical health threats in September 2015.