Post-disaster management of the environmental and health impacts of technological accidents in France

Abstract : Consequences of industrial disasters and related management issues are larger than immediate environmental damages and rescue operations to put the population out of danger. These consequences include: long term pollution of the environment, contamination of food for humans and cattle, social and economic issues adding health impacts to those resulting of direct exposure to the initial event. Previous experiences of post-disaster management show that long term consequences can be very heavy. They are much more difficult to be solved as they have not been anticipated and commonly prepared by the different stakeholders. This lack of anticipation is stressed in France by the fact that until now the specific response plans and the civil security organisation doctrines target the emergency phase issues without taking into account the post-disaster phase issues. This situation is currently changing. The second National Environmental and Health Action Plan consecutive to the 'Grenelle' law (n° 2009-967) has the objective to develop and implement tools for health and environmental monitoring after a natural or industrial disaster. The French Institute of Public Health surveillance (InVS) and the National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks (INERIS) are working complementarily to develop such integrated expertise. In a research project (Orgactoupost), they especially drew up a diagnosis of -and proposed solutions for- the current gap, in France, between the emergency response and the response to post-accidental impacts of industrial accidents on the environment and on human health. INERIS has developed tools to assess these impacts on the environment. In the same time, a network of stakeholders has been established, which shall include sampling experts and analysts. InVS is currently implementing a post-disaster epidemiology preparedness program. To respond to these issues, a circular (joined with a guideline report towards local administration) has been recently written by the Ministry on charge of the environment with the assistance of the pre cited institutes and co-signed by the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Home Office. It targets on technical accidents and disasters involving chemical substances. This circular explains the corresponding various post-disaster environmental and health issues. It makes also organisational propositions in order to facilitate the interaction between the state agencies involved locally in the actions regarding the sanitary and environmental consequences (principles of rapid information and expertise exchanges between environmental and health offices, post-disaster cell...). The main goal is to anticipate without any delay the durable situations of contamination threatening the health of the populations, the agricultural fields, the fauna or the flora (emergency environmental contamination measurement plans and resources, the available regional and national health risk assessment and epidemiological expertise...). In 2012, one priority of the objectives of the inspection of industrial facilities in France is the operational implementation of this circular into the local and regional post-disaster management organisation. The objective of this presentation is to browse the different actions and organisational propositions included in the circular, with referring to various post-disaster French experiences to illustrate their utility.
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  • HAL Id : ineris-00971073, version 1
  • INERIS : EN-2012-386

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Philippe Pirard, Céline Boudet, Yvon Motreff, Karine Tack, Florence Allot, et al.. Post-disaster management of the environmental and health impacts of technological accidents in France. 7. International Conference on the Science of Exposure Assessment (X2012), Jul 2012, Edimbourg, United Kingdom. ⟨ineris-00971073⟩

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