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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12683-12699; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212683

Health Impact Assessment Practice and Potential for Integration within Environmental Impact and Strategic Environmental Assessments in Italy

1
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Council of Research, via Moruzzi 1, 56127 Pisa, Italy
2
Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment, Apulia Corso Trieste 27, 70126 Bari, Italy
3
Regional Public Health Service, Emilia-Romagna Viale Moro 21, 40127 Bologna, Italy
4
Regional Agency for the Protection of the Environment, Piedmont via Sabaudia 164, 10095 Grugliasco, Italy
5
Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, via Vitaliano Brancati 48, 00144 Roma, Italy
6
Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Roma, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 October 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 2 December 2014 / Published: 8 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment: Realizing Its Potential)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [700 KB, uploaded 8 December 2014]

Abstract

Avoiding or minimizing potential environmental impact is the driving idea behind protecting a population’s health via Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs). However, both are often carried out without any systematic approach. This paper describes the findings of a review of HIA, EIA and SEA experiences carried out by the authors, who act as institutional competent subjects at the national and regional levels in Italy. The analysis of how health is tackled in EIA and SEA procedures could support the definition of a protocol for the integration of HIA with EIA and SEA. Although EIA and SEA approaches include the aim of protecting health, significant technical and methodological gaps are present when assessing health systematically, and their basic principles regarding assessment are unsatisfactory for promoting and addressing healthcare concepts stated by the WHO. HIA is still poorly integrated into the decision-making process, screening and monitoring phases are only occasionally implemented, and operational details are not well-defined. The collaborative approach of institutions involved in environment and health is a core element in a systematic advancement toward supporting effective decisions and effective protection of the environment and health. At the Italian national level, the definition of guidelines and tools for HIA, also in relation with EIA and SEA, is of great interest. View Full-Text
Keywords: public health policy; Health Impact Assessment; Environmental Impact Assessment; Strategic Impact Assessment; impact assessment tools; policy decision-making public health policy; Health Impact Assessment; Environmental Impact Assessment; Strategic Impact Assessment; impact assessment tools; policy decision-making
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Linzalone, N.; Assennato, G.; Ballarini, A.; Cadum, E.; Cirillo, M.; Cori, L.; De Maio, F.; Musmeci, L.; Natali, M.; Rieti, S.; Soggiu, M.E.; Bianchi, F. Health Impact Assessment Practice and Potential for Integration within Environmental Impact and Strategic Environmental Assessments in Italy. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 12683-12699.

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