Toxicologic Exposures Associated With Natural Disasters: Gases, Kerosene, Ash, and Bites

Academic Article


  • Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and volcanic eruptions may increase human exposures to toxins. Disaster management encompasses a continuous cycle involving preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. Toxic exposures occur in predictable segments of the disaster cycle. Although carbon monoxide poisoning is the most widely reported poisoning after natural disasters, other toxins including certain hydrocarbons, volcanic ash, and gases, as well as snake and animal bites, are also recognized hazards. Emergency response personnel and health care providers should be aware of these hazards to respond and manage these exposures effectively. This article will present an overview of toxic exposures related to natural disasters, specifically, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons/petroleum distillates, volcanic ash, animal exposures, and snake bites. Their relation to the disaster management cycle will be presented to serve as a primer for medical personnel and health care providers assisting with disaster response or emergency planning. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jones NE; Baker MD
  • Start Page

  • 317
  • End Page

  • 323
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 4