ASHT - Phase II
Project title: Alerting System and Development of Health Surveillance System for the Deliberate Release of Chemicals by Terrorists (ASHT Phase II)
Project start date: 1. 10. 2008
Project completion date: 30. 9. 2011
Budget: EUR 1 000 000
Project guarantor (workplace): Clinic of Occupational Diseases VFN in Prague
There is still no single protocol for warning against chemical accidents in Europe. The task is to fill this gap with the ASHT project. Five countries participate in the project, 60% of which is funded by the European Union Public Health Program and 40% by individual project partners, including the General University Hospital in Prague. In the first phase (ASHT I), the RAS-CHEM - Rapid Alert System for Chemical Incidents was developed, which includes exemplary exposure scenarios typical of chemical abuse and clinical syndromes following exposure to selected 20 chemicals.
ASHT II is to create a system of warnings based on existing Poison Centers (PCs) in Europe and their common platforms, the EU PC Forum. If the EU PC Forum evaluates new information about unusual intoxication or a series of intoxications (suspected poisoning, clusters of intoxications…) as serious, it will send a signal to national health ministry institutions, which are an important part of the warning system.
The project will take place in two stages - the first being the creation of an effective Internet network that will connect European PCs. In the second phase, a tool for the systematic collection and analysis of registered cases of intoxication will be created. The project will extend the range of chemicals used by terrorists as well as other, unintentional, chemical accidents, for example in industry and transport, as they may also cross country borders. The creation of a harmonized database of toxic substances and their associated clinical syndromes for continuous monitoring is the task of the Toxicological Information Center of the General Teaching Hospital in Prague. The ultimate goal is to extend the alert system to all EU Member States, supported by the European Association of Poisons Centers and Clinical Toxicologists (EAPCCT) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Project partners are: Health Protection Agency, UK; EAPCCT; Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, UK; Universitätsmedizin Göttingen Giz - Nord Poisons Center, Germany; Center Hospitalier Universitaire de Lille, France; Health Emergency Situations Center, Lithuania and the Czech Republic General University Hospital in Prague.