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J Med Toxicol. 2011 Dec;7(4):329-32. doi: 10.1007/s13181-011-0172-4.

Toxicology, environmental health, and the "One Health" concept.

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National Center for Environmental Health, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chamblee, GA 30341, USA.


The One Health concept promotes collaboration among veterinarians, physicians, scientists, and other professions to promote human, animal, and ecosystem health. One Health illustrates the interconnectedness and interdependence of human, animal, and ecosystem health. This concept has traditionally focused on zoonoses that are infectious diseases, not on chemical- or poison-related illnesses in animals and their relationship to the detection and prevention of human illness. The purpose of this article is to describe key experiences of scientists in the Health Studies Branch within the National Center for Environmental of Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in which the study of animal illness facilitated a public health investigation into an outbreak of chemical-associated human disease. The experiences highlight how utilizing the One Health approach may improve chemical-associated outbreak investigations and facilitate appropriate intervention strategies. An appropriate One Health approach in toxicology and environmental health in outbreak settings should include consideration of the common environments and food sources shared by humans and animals and consideration of the potential for contaminated animal products as food sources in human exposures.

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