After completion of the course, students have basic knowledge of and insight in:|
After the course the student can apply these principles and theory in a ‘real world’ case study in which the three main themes of the course (exposure, health effects, and risk assessment) play a major role.
exposure to environmental agents and their impact on the human body and associated health risks: routes of exposure, relations between internal and external exposure, effects on target organ level, (patho)physiological responses, and resulting illness and well-defined disease;
basic principles of environmental epidemiology and toxicology, and how the two disciplines both contribute to the scientific study of environmental health problems.
This course is thought in English or Dutch, depending on participation of foreing students.
Individual and public health problems often play an important role in society and politics, and scientific environmental health studies should provide the data in evidence-based environmental policy. What are the health risks of exposure to environmental factors, like a home address near major motor roads, close to major high power lines or GSM antennas, or downwind in the vicinity of heavy industry, an airport or huge and intensive pig or poultry farms? What are the exact exposures, how can they be qualitatively and quantitatively assessed, and which disciplines are required in a full risk assessment procedure?
The course deals with basic principles of Environmental Health as a science, and its application in specific cases of risk evaluation and assessment, with as major aspects:
Human exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents in air, water, food – like traffic related air pollutants, radio-active or electromagnetic radiation, pesticide residues as food contaminants, airborne or drinking water-associated pathogens, etc.
Interactions with the human body: their pathogenic (infectious, toxic, allergic, etc.) effects on target organs, and the way the human body may respond to and cope with the agents.
The analysis of health risks resulting from these exposures and interactions.
Searching for and critical reading and interpretation of scientific literature – both primary (research reports) and secondary (reviews).
Reporting - orally and written – of the outcome of a systematic literature review.
Practical work – both field and labwork and data analysis – in human exposure assessment.
Oral and written reporting of measurement data and the conclusions of statistical analysis.
Voorkennis kan worden opgedaan met
|General knowledge of chemistry, biochemistry, physiology|
|NWI-Chemie van systeem aarde (GEO1-2206) or equivalent courses in life sciences||Verplicht materiaal|
|Baker and van Nieuwenhuisen, Environmental Epidemiology; Oxford University Press, 2008|
|Other literature (reviews, research reports, articles, lecture handouts, lab protocols, etc.) will be provided during the course.|Werkvormen
|Lectures and tutorials|
AlgemeenThe course includes both theoretical and practical work. Theory will be presented in the first 6 course weeks in lectures and interactive group work, with exercises and discussion of recent scientific papers on specific environmental health issues.
Voorbereiding bijeenkomstenThe course has been scheduled in timeslots B+C with relatively many contact hours at the start of the course and more time for self study and group work in the 2nd part. In the theoretical part: reading background literature that will be discussed during the lectures and classes.
|Practical work and case study|
AlgemeenThe last four weeks of the course are spent on practical work, including: (a) 2-4 days field- and lab-work on human exposure assessment; (b) 3 classes on statistical analyses and reporting of resulting measurement data; (c) a case study, in which relevant data from literature will be summarized in a written report and oral presentation, with recommendations for specific implementation of measures and/or further research.
Voorbereiding bijeenkomstenDuring the case study the division of time and labour in the self-study time will be arranged by the case study group together with the case study supervisor.
Bijdrage aan groepswerkThe practical work and the case study are group work, in groups of 4 students, in which students are supposed to organize and distribute, together with their supervisor, tasks among the group members. End products are group oral and written presentations of both practical work results and the case report, with all students providing a clearly recognized individual contribution.
BeoordelingThe theoretical part will be completed with a written exam/test in week 6, which result will determine 40% of the final mark. Final marks are further determined by the quality of the case study report (oral and written), results of the practicals, and the active participation.
Test components: written exam (40%), performance in practical work and presentation (30%), case study report and presentation (30%)