| Risk assessment and Health
Relevance of research
The environment can have an important effect on health. The influence of the environment on human health is complex and, while some interactions are well known, providing clear links between health effects and some individual environmental risk factors, others are still largely unknown. The interaction between the environment and health seems far more complex than is commonly understood.
Although many environmental problems have already been solved, much remains to be done. In fact, there are a growing number of health problems which have been associated with environmental pollution, such as the effect of endocrine disrupting compounds on wildlife and human health. In order to help policy-makers by providing more accurate information about risks related to different kinds of environmental factors, European research is initiated on risk assessment and health issues within the Commission’s Framework Programmes for Research. The aim of the research in this area is to improve our understanding about environmental threats, and the risks they pose to human health. In addition, improved assessment methods are needed to be able to estimate the possible cumulative risks of several contributing factors.
Aims of EU-funded research on risk assessment and health
The objective of EU-funded research in this area is to focus on developing advanced methods for assessing the risk of processes, technologies, measures and policies. It also aims to assess environmental quality, which includes producing reliable indicators of population health, environmental conditions and the evaluation of risk in relation to outdoor and indoor exposure to various pollutants. Relevant pre-normative research on measurements and testing for these purposes is a focus as well.
Climate change, the contamination of soil and water resources, air pollution and other forms of environmental damage have consequences not only on ecosystems but also directly or indirectly on human health. Research addresses climate change-driven environmental shifts likely to affect human health. Moreover, research tackles broad aspects of environmental quality, damage assessment and environmental liability considering the related policy aspects in the EU.
Theses actions provide improved environmental monitoring and early warning tools, integrated measurement systems and validated standardised methods.
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