nl en

Health & Environment




Admissions requirements

Recommended: Biology or Chemistry, Ecotoxicology.


Concerns about adverse effects of environmental pollution on population health is an important incentive for research and policy. Much of the global burden of disease is attributed to environmental exposures such as contaminated water, pesticides, air pollution and climate change. What are the current health risks of environmental factors and how can these be assessed qualitatively and quantitatively? This course deals with the basic principles of health and environment and their application in specific cases of risk evaluation and assessment. More specifically, the course will address the following topics:

  • Human exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents, and pollutants (eg. air, water, food)

  • Interaction with the human body: how may the human body respond and cope with these environmental exposures.

  • Risk assessment of environmental exposures.

Course objectives


  • Students can describe and classify the major sources and types of environmental exposures that may be hazardous for health

  • Students can explain how the body reacts to environmental exposures/contamination (i.e. pollutants, radiation, hazardous waste and other hazardous biochemical agents).

  • Students can recognize the main vectors (air, water, soil), carriers and transport of these environmental exposures


  • Students can apply models for risk assessment and risk management

  • Students can critically interpret findings from environmental epidemiology and toxicology (eg. related to study design, basic epidemiological calculations and assessment of health effects and environmental exposures).

  • Students can write their own report of a case study on a particular environmental exposure and health outcome.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The main mode of instruction will be lectures and practical exercises in the form of field work and journal clubs. Also, students are required to give presentations and write a critical report about scientific papers on a specific environmental health issues. At last students are expected to participate actively with their group on a case study on an environmental policy-oriented question important for society .


Written examination: 40%
Group assignment (Case study): 20%
Individual assignment (report): 15%
In-class participation (reading background literature beforehand and active participation): 5%
Presentations: 20%


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Baker and Nieuwenhuijsen. Environment Epidemiology-study Methods and Applications. Oxford University Press. 2008


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Marise Kastelyn