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NLM Releases Web Page on Environmental Concerns Related to Hurricane Katrina

The National Library of Medicine’s Specialized Information Services Division has compiled a new Hurricane Katrina web page, http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/hurricane.html, on toxic chemical and environmental health information resources for health workers and the interested public. Links are provided to information on chemicals that may be released as a result of the Katrina disaster and on environmental health concerns following the wind and flood damage.

The page includes a link to WISER, the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders. First responders may freely download the WISER set of information on about 400 toxic chemicals and hazardous materials to a Palm, Pocket PC, or laptop/desktop computer that uses Microsoft Windows. WISER is designed to help identify unknown substances and gives ready access to basic emergency Hazmat information.

Links to TOXMAP identify and map locations of facilities that use or transport significant levels of toxic chemicals, and lists the chemicals for each facility. Maps are included for the Katrina-affected states as well as for New Orleans, Biloxi, and Gulfport.

The page includes information links from numerous agencies and organizations, such as the American Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Food and Drug Administration, Pan American Health Organization, and World Health Organization. Spanish-language information links are also provided. Additional relevant links will be added to the page as they become available.

Specific materials covered by the links include guides to flooding-related infectious diseases, pest control information, safety precautions with snakes, guidelines for food safety and controlling drinking water quality, mold cleanup guidelines, and disaster preparedness guidelines for livestock and pets.

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