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Health and Environment




Admissions requirements

None, but Introduction to Epidemiology and _Global Public Health, Biology, and/or Ecotoxciology are recommended.


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 air pollution, pesticides, water 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:

  • Environmental epidemiology

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

  • Risk assessment of environmental exposures.

  • Interaction with the human body: how may the human body respond and cope with these 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 recognize the main vectors (air, water, soil), carriers and transport of these environmental exposures

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

  • Students can think in a scientific way about health and environment topics.


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

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


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

(Guest) Lectures
Assignments (eg development of factsheet)
Practical exercises (eg SPSS assignment)
Student presentations
Group assignment (systematic review)


Development (and presentation) of factsheet: 15%, week 3 or 4
Individual student presentation, 15% week 6
Final written exam: 30%, week 8
Group assignment (systematic review): 30%, ongoing
In-class participation: 10%, ongoing


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

Next to the book mentioned below, scientific articles are the base of this course. The articles are listed in the different sessions and will be available on blackboard or will be handed to you during the session.

Book: 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 Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Marise Kasteleyn