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Public Health Incidents Involving Lead

Explore lead incidents as a public health issue and learn how lead incidents are managed in England and internationally.

Public Health Incidents Involving Lead
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Develop your understanding of lead poisoning and public health policy

This course offers learners the chance to learn why tackling lead poisoning is important and explore how lead poisoning impacts health services and policy around the world.

Learn how to deal with lead exposure incidents

Lead is a toxic metal and its widespread use has caused extensive environmental contamination and health problems in many parts of the world.

Recent reductions in the use of lead in petrol, paint, plumbing, and solder have resulted in a substantial reduction in population-level mean blood lead concentrations.

However, significant sources of exposure still remain, particularly in developing countries.

Discover the health effects of lead poisoning

As well as learning how to identify when someone has lead poisoning and what to do if someone has lead poisoning, you’ll hear from experts at Public Health England on how to prevent and test lead poisoning and provide lead poisoning treatment.

You’ll also explore and evaluate the different public health models used around the world to prevent lead poisoning.

Learn about blood lead intervention concentration

The blood lead concentration for notification and intervention is being reduced in England.

You’ll explore some of the evidence behind why it’s being reduced and how the concentration compares to other countries.

What topics will you cover?

  • Is lead an important public health issue?
  • Why is tackling lead poisoning important?
  • What types of lead incidents do we see?
  • How can we prevent lead poisoning and test for lead?
  • What blood lead intervention concentrations are used internationally?

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

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Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe what lead is
  • Debate different public health models used internationally
  • Explain the health effects of lead poisoning
  • Describe and discuss different lead incidents
  • Identify when someone has lead poisoning
  • Explain what to do if someone has been poisoned with lead
  • Describe how you can remove or break the source, pathway and receptor model
  • Explain how you can test for lead in the environment
  • Explain the evidence behind the change in blood lead intervention concentration in England
  • Debate the blood lead intervention values used internationally and the evidence behind these concentrations
  • Reflect upon knowledge gained and undertake further courses on environmental health topics

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for professionals involved in lead incidents who’d like to develop their understanding of lead poisoning and public health policy.

This may include health protection practitioners, specialist registrars, local authority environmental health practitioners, clinicians, paediatricians and clinical toxicologists.

However, members of the public who are affected by or involved in lead incidents may also be interested in this course.

Who will you learn with?

I am an Environmental Public Health Scientist with over 14 years experience in providing technical advice on environmental incidents involving chemicals.

Who developed the course?

UK Health Security Agency

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is responsible for planning, preventing and responding to external health threats by providing intellectual, scientific and operational leadership at national and local level, as well as on the global stage. UKHSA is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

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