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Health & Environment




Admissions requirements

None, but Biology (or Chemistry) and Ecotoxicology are recommended.


  • Concerns about adverse effects of environmental pollution and population health is an important incentive for research and policy. Much of both the current and projected future global burden of disease is attributed to environmental exposures such as contaminated water, pesticides, air pollution, pollen and climate change. What are the current health risks of environmental factors and how these be assessed qualitatively and quantitatively? This course deals with the basic principles of health and environment and its 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, pollen)

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

  • Risk assessment of environmental exposures.

Course objectives

After the course students will:

  • Know the major sources and types of environmental exposures that may be hazardous for health

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

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

  • Be able to analyze data using SPSS

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

  • Be able to apply models or risk assessment and risk management

  • Have insight in the principles of environmental epidemiology and toxicology


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

Practical Exercises
Student presentations
Case studies (group assignment)


  • Written examination: 30%

  • Group assignment: 30%

  • Student presentation: 30%

  • In-class participation: 10%


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

  • Other material: IBM SPSS Statistics Software. Available at


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