The material presented in this course is based on the manual “Tratamiento de las intoxicaciones: Manual para agentes de atención primaria” prepared by a group of experts called by the International Program of Chemical Safety (IPCS) in February, 1987. Dr. J.A. Henry and Mrs. H.M. Wiseman prepared a text which was evaluated and commented by several experts, in particular Dr. Eva Fogel de Korc (Montevideo, Uruguay); Dr. G.R. Gardiner; Dr. J. Jackson; and Mr. W. Tardoir (Brussels, Belgium); and colleagues from the UNEP International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC) and the ILO Occupational Safety and Health Subdivision. To review the text, the IPCS called a publishing group formed by Dr. J.C. Berger (Luxembourg); Dr. N. Besbelli (Ankara, Turkey); Professor M. Ellenhorn (Los Angeles, U.S.); Professor B. Fahim (Cairo, Egypt); Dr. SMIG Kaojarern (Bangkok, Thailand); Professor A. Furtado Rahde (Porto Alegre, Brazil); Dr. N.N. Sabapathy (Fernhurst, England); Professor A.N.P. van Heijst (Utrecht, Netherlands); and Dr. A. David (ILO). The text was tested in an IPCS workshop held in Harare (Zimbabwe) from 28th January to 1st February 1991, and subsequently in two training workshops organized in Zimbabwe. In addition, some parts were reviewed in an IPCS workshop held in Dakar (Senegal) in 24-27 January 1995. In the IPCS, the edition was under the responsibility of Dr. J. Pronczuk de Garbino and Dr. J.A. Haines coordinated the work.
The first aid manual of the Joint Voluntary Aid Societies of the United Kingdom and the publications of the World Federation for the protection of crops were useful information sources to prepare the first draft. The United Kingdom Health Department provided the IPCS with the financial resources to prepare the draft of the text and set up the publishing group. All figures were prepared by Picthall & Gunzi in London.
With the authorization of the World Health Organization Publishing Office and to facilitate the training of professionals and personnel in charge of providing primary care to intoxicated people in the Region, the Pan American Center for Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences (CEPIS/PAHO) has prepared this material as a self-learning course, which includes a self-evaluation section, links to databases, full texts, directory of centers of information and toxicological advice in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the like. This work was under the responsibility of Dr. Diego González Machín, CEPIS/PAHO adviser in toxicology; Eng. Marco Ramírez Chávez; and the staff of the computer area. Dr. Susana García, toxicologist of the Programa de Prevención y Control de Intoxicaciones of the Ministry of Health of Argentina also collaborated in the preparation of this material.