The Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health received funding to continue the work of an established surveillance system for responding to emergency events involving hazardous substances. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry awarded the cooperative agreement.

Chemical releases occurring during transportation and chemical accidents at plants and other facilities involving hazardous substances are among those events that qualify.

Health workers in the LDH/OPH Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology program will use the funding to continue work begun with a cooperative agreement awarded in 2000. The 2000 funding allowed the office to work with Louisiana State Police and the Department of Environmental Quality to establish the Hazardous Substance Emergency Event Surveillance System in Louisiana. The 2004 cooperative agreement can provide funding for the surveillance project through 2009.

"The state of Louisiana will benefit from the surveillance of hazardous substances emergency events because the data collected through the surveillance system can be utilized by industries, emergency responders, and the general public to prevent hazardous substances emergency events in the future and to decrease the injuries and fatalities that result from these events, or by calling the LDH/OPH at: 1-888-293-7020 or 504-568-8537.