Pollution is the first cause of mortality worldwide, mainly influencing the burden of cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases (Landrigan et al. 2017). Characterizing, understanding and preventing the health effects of chemical pollutants is therefore a significant priority for public health.
The Faculty of Public Health at UCLouvain (prof Dominique Lison) and the Belgian Society of Toxicology and Ecotoxicology (BelTox) jointly launched, with the help of the Continuing Education Institute, a new training in Toxicology for professionals who wish to perfect their skills in this field.
The first module on Principles in Toxicology, coordinated by Dr Mark Martens (Beltox), took place in the week of February 18th at the Louvain House in Louvain-la-Neuve. The training programme consisted of a theoretical part (3.5 days) and a practical part (1.5). The theoretical part covered most essential sub-disciplines of toxicological sciences given by lecturers experts in each respective field.
The course was attended by 18 participants from industry, consultation, authorities and academia. Their background was very diverse and ranged from civil engineer to medical doctors. The feedback on the course was very positive. Especially the practical exercises (one with a pharmaceutical led by Dr Miranda Cornet (BelTox) and one with an industrial chemical led by Dr Mark Martens (Beltox)) were very much appreciated. Students will also complete a homework by the end of March. An attendance certificate will be procured when the homework is delivered.
A second module dealing with Regulatory Toxicology will be organized in October 2019, under the direction of Dr Violaine Verougstraete.
Three modules are planned for 2020 :
- Principles of toxicology
- Occupational Toxicology
- In vitro Toxicology
Landrigan PJ, Fuller R, Acosta NJR, et al. (2017) The Lancet Commission on pollution and health. The Lancet doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(17)32345-0