Monographic Section

Exploring available options in characterising the health impact of industrially contaminated sites


Industrially contaminated sites (ICS) are of high concern from an environmental public health perspective, since industrial plants may produce a widespread contamination that can result in several health impacts on the populations living in their neighbourhood. The objective of this contribution is to briefly explore available options in studying the health impact of ICS, mainly referring to information provided by documents and activities developed by the WHO and the WHO Collaborating Center for Environmental Health in Contaminated Sites. In current practice the health impact of ICS is evaluated using studies and assessments falling in two broad types of strategies: one based on epidemiology and the other on risk assessment methods. In recent years, traditional approaches to assess relationships between environmental risks and health has been evolved considering the intricate nature between them and other factors. New developments should be explored in the context of ICS to find common strategies and tools to assess their impacts and to guide public health interventions.


contaminated sites, health impact assessment, epidemiology, risk assessment, industry, chemical industry

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