GIZ-Nord » research and projects » ECHEMNET - European Chemical Emergency Network

This is the publicly accessable information on ECHEMNET on the GIZ-Nord Poisons Center Website. The project is presented in more detail on the project's own website.

Internal information for ECHEMNET Partners are provided here.


The European Chemical Emergency Network, in short ECHEMNET, is a research project partially funded by the European Commission as part of the Executive Agancy for Health and Cosumers (EAHC) Health Programme 2008-2013 (Sub-Action Response coordination in the face of chemical events).

The Project has started in April 2013.


Public Health England (PHE) is the main contractor while

  • University Medical Center Göttingen (represented by the GIZ-Nord Poisons Center), Germany
  • Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid, Bilthoven, The Nederlands
  • Totalförsvarets Forskningsinstitut (FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency), Umea, Sweden, and
  • Empresa Publica de Emergencias Sanitarias, Campanillas. Malaga, Spain,

are contributing as partners to the project as associate partners.


Across the EU there is a significant difference in Member States response capability to serious chemical health threats, particularly transboundary events (1) For serious events affecting public health, there are a number of legal requirements that have been put in place to notify others (e.g. WHO through International Health Regulations, 2). A European notification system to promote a rapid response to a chemical event (Rapid Alert System for Chemical Threats, RAS-CHEM) has been successfully developed (3). A set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines has been developed to govern the implementation and management of RAS-CHEM. However there is still a need to strengthen and streamline a harmonised approach to dealing with chemical incidents of cross border significance.


European Chemical Emergency Network (ECHEMNET) will:

  1. further develop an EU-level network of Member State representatives for ‘ad-hoc’ expert advice pertaining to emerging chemical emergencies
  2. further develop the SOPs and guidelines for the assessment and management of transboundary events
  3. engage with experts, end-users and stakeholders
  4. test technical outputs with ‘developed’ and ‘live’ incidents.

The ECHEMNET project aims to encourage interest in the work within the poisons centres' and public health's communities. ECHEMNET welcomes interest in joining the project as a collaborative partner.

The project will ensure that a pilot network of expert risk assessors is formed, tested and functioning to aid in the co-ordinated response to serious transboundary chemical health threats.


(1) European Commission, Health and Consumers Directorate General (2005): Report of the Stakeholder Consultation on Health Security in the European Union. Available at: [accessed 2013-08-12].

(2) World Health 2. Organisation (2005) International Health Regulations (IHR). Available at: [accessed 2013-08-12].

(3) RAS-CHEM (Rapid Alerting System for Chemical Health Threats) (2007). In: The Commission Health Emergency Operations Facility: for a coordinated management of public health emergency at EU level (Health and Consumer Protection Directorate General, 2007), p. 11. Available at: [accessed 2013-08-12].

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