National Institute for Research in Environmental Health (NIREH), Bhopal, is one of the permanent institutes of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),a Government of India’s apex autonomous organization for bio-medical research in the country.
Historical Indian Council of Medical Research, an apex national body in biomedical research in India, after the Methyl Isocynate (MIC) gas/toxic gas disaster in the night of 2nd and 3rd December, 1984 in Bhopal set up a co-ordinating unit in 1985 and initiated several research programmes. This Coordinating unit was soon upgraded to Bhopal Gas Disaster Research Centre in 1986 to undertake long term epidemiological studies. Almost all Clinical research projects from 1985 to 1994 covering radiological, mental health, respiratory afflictions including pulmonary function and arterial blood gases, pregnancy outcome, neurological, immunological, mutagenic and genotoxic aspects were accomplished to their logical conclusions. The findings were published in Indian Journal of Medical Research Vol.86 (Supplement) of 1987.
ICMR also took initiative to compile the studies into three technical reports e.g.
1. Technical Report on Long term Epidemiological Studies,
2. Technical Report on Clinical Studies,
3. Technical Report on Pathology and Toxicology.
Bhopal Gas Disaster Research Centre,ICMR, Bhopal was handed over to the Government of Madhya Pradesh in 1995 to continue research programmes under Centre for Rehabilitation Studies (CRS), under Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal. Studies on Bhopal gas victims were also undertaken by Bhopal Memorial Health Research Centre (BMHRC) and several Non Governmental Organizations. However, the demand for longitudinal studies was repeatedly made by several sections of the society at various fora. The Government of India took cognizance of the long standing demand of the people and directed ICMR in June 2010 to establish a permanent research centre at Bhopal. The ICMR set up its 31st permanent Research Centre "National Institute for Research in Environmental Health" at Bhopal on 11th October 2010 to focus on the issues of environmental health research aimed at becoming a Centre of excellence in capacity building for research and health interventions to meet challenges in environmental disasters in the country.