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1994DOEHealth Surveillance

Deployment Occupational & Environmental Health Surveillance (1994)

U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine operates the Deployment Environmental Surveillance Program, the DESP, to analyze data and disseminate information to commanders concerning identification, assessment, and reduction of deployment occupational and environmental health hazards and risks.

Background

  • CHPPM is the Department of Defense lead agent for deployment occupational and environmental health surveillance data analysis.
  • CHPPM created the DESP in 1996 to fulfill this responsibility.
  • CHPPM is staffed by environmental scientists, engineers, health risk assessors, entomologists, geographers, industrial hygienists, health physicists, ergonomicists and epidemiologists.

Capabilities

  • Consultation and on-site assistance to deployed units.
  • Spatial and temporal analysis of potential occupational and environmental exposures.
  • Data archiving.
  • Developing policy/procedure for surveillance and control of occupational and environmental hazards during deployments.

Achievements

  • Actively engaged in environmental surveillance in the Balkans and Southwest Asia, with samples taken and analyzed from Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Afghanistan, Albania, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.
  • CHPPM, in collaboration with the Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center and other intelligence elements, has dramatically improved the intelligence preparation of the battlefield so that commanders are informed about potential occupational/environmental risks before they occupy a site.

Future

  • Exposure data are archived for inclusion in Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System, from which data can be drawn for retrospective health studies and to support follow-up clinical care.
  • Continued development of policy, doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures for occupational and environmental health surveillance.
  • Continued efforts to improve ability of deployed healthcare practitioners to identify and treat exposure-related illnesses and injuries.