Special Issue "Health Impact Assessment"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. David Rojas
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Interests: health impact assessment; risk assessment; burden of disease; public health; health in all policies; sustainable development goals; environmental epidemiology; environmental risk factors; urban health; built environment and health; transport and health; air pollution; physical activity; green spaces; aging and child health
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A Special Issue on Health Impact Assessment, in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, is being organized.

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) has been proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a key tool for health in all policies. In the last few decades, the practice of using Health Impact Assessments to influence public policies has been gaining in popularity throughout the world.

The WHO defines Health Impact Assessment as a combination of procedures, methods, and tools by which a policy, program, or project may be judged as to its potential effects on the health of a population, and the distribution of those effects within the population. Health Impact Assessment uses qualitative and/or quantitative methods (such as expert consultations, focus groups, comparative risk assessment, and burden of disease), and can be applied to multiple sectors (such as employment, social equity, environment, housing, and transportation).

For this Special Issue, we seek high-quality contributions on all types of Health Impact Assessments. We welcome contributions from all around the world on HIA applied to any sector, population, or geographical area. We also seek HIA reviews, methodological papers, evaluations, best practices, and critical analysis. We invite contributors from academia and the impact assessment practice, policy, and education arenas.

Prof. David Rojas-Rueda
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • health impact assessment (HIA)
  • qualitative HIA
  • quantitative HIA
  • rapid HIA
  • intermediate HIA
  • comprehensive HIA
  • participatory HIA
  • social HIA
  • environmental HIA
  • HIA and burden of disease
  • HIA and risk assessment
  • HIA and health risk assessment
  • HIA and health needs assessment
  • HIA and population risk assessment
  • HIA and comparative risk assessment
  • HIA and health impact modeling
  • urban HIA
  • rural HIA
  • HIA and non-communicable diseases
  • HIA and infection
  • HIA and equity
  • HIA and citizen science
  • HIA and health in all policies
  • HIA and sustainable development goals
  • HIA reviews
  • methods on HIA
  • HIA management
  • HIA tools
  • HIA best practices
  • HIA critical analysis
  • HIA evaluations
  • HIA training and education
  • HIA policy and legislation
  • HIA history

Published Papers (23 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Health Impact of Air Pollution from Shipping in the Baltic Sea: Effects of Different Spatial Resolutions in Sweden
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7963; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217963 - 29 Oct 2020
Abstract
In 2015, stricter regulations to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions and particulate air pollution from shipping were implemented in the Baltic Sea. We investigated the effects on population exposure to particles <2.5 µm (PM2.5) from shipping and estimated related morbidity and mortality [...] Read more.
In 2015, stricter regulations to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions and particulate air pollution from shipping were implemented in the Baltic Sea. We investigated the effects on population exposure to particles <2.5 µm (PM2.5) from shipping and estimated related morbidity and mortality in Sweden’s 21 counties at different spatial resolutions. We used a regional model to estimate exposure in Sweden and a city-scale model for Gothenburg. Effects of PM2.5 exposure on total mortality, ischemic heart disease, and stroke were estimated using exposure–response functions from the literature and combining them into disability-adjusted life years (DALYS). PM2.5 exposure from shipping in Gothenburg decreased by 7% (1.6 to 1.5 µg/m3) using the city-scale model, and 35% (0.5 to 0.3 µg/m3) using the regional model. Different population resolutions had no effects on population exposures. In the city-scale model, annual premature deaths due to shipping PM2.5 dropped from 97 with the high-sulfur scenario to 90 in the low-sulfur scenario, and in the regional model from 32 to 21. In Sweden, DALYs lost due to PM2.5 from Baltic Sea shipping decreased from approximately 5700 to 4200. In conclusion, sulfur emission restrictions for shipping had positive effects on health, but the model resolution affects estimations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Measuring Burden of Disease Attributable to Air Pollution Due to Preterm Birth Complications and Infant Death in Paris Using Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7841; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217841 - 26 Oct 2020
Abstract
Several studies have found maternal exposure to particulate matter pollution was associated with adverse birth outcomes, including infant mortality and preterm birth. In this context, our study aims to quantify the air pollution burden of disease due to preterm birth complications and infant [...] Read more.
Several studies have found maternal exposure to particulate matter pollution was associated with adverse birth outcomes, including infant mortality and preterm birth. In this context, our study aims to quantify the air pollution burden of disease due to preterm birth complications and infant death in Paris, with particular attention to people living in the most deprived census blocks. Data on infant death and preterm birth was available from the birth and death certificates. The postal address of mother’s newborn was converted in census block number. A socioeconomic deprivation index was built at the census block level. Average annual ambient concentrations of PM10 were modelled at census block level using the ESMERALDA atmospheric modelling system. The number of infant deaths attributed to PM10 exposure is expressed in years of life lost. We used a three-step compartmental model to appraise neurodevelopmental impairment among survivors of preterm birth. We estimated that 12.8 infant deaths per 100,000 live births may be attributable to PM10 exposure, and about one third of these infants lived in deprived census blocks. In addition, we found that approximately 4.8% of preterm births could be attributable to PM10 exposure, and approximately 1.9% of these infants died (corresponding to about 5.75 deaths per 100,000 live birth). Quantification of environmental hazard-related health impacts for children at local level is essential to prioritizing interventions. Our study suggests that additional effort is needed to reduce the risk of complications and deaths related to air pollution exposure, especially among preterm births. Because of widespread exposure to air pollution, significant health benefits could be achieved through regulatory interventions aimed at reducing exposure of the population as a whole, and particularly of the most vulnerable, such as children and pregnant women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrated Impact Assessment of Active Travel: Expanding the Scope of the Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for Walking and Cycling
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207361 - 09 Oct 2020
Abstract
The World Health Organization’s Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for walking and cycling is a user-friendly web-based tool to assess the health impacts of active travel. HEAT, developed over 10 years ago, has been used by researchers, planners and policymakers alike in appraisals [...] Read more.
The World Health Organization’s Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for walking and cycling is a user-friendly web-based tool to assess the health impacts of active travel. HEAT, developed over 10 years ago, has been used by researchers, planners and policymakers alike in appraisals of walking and cycling policies at both national and more local scales. HEAT has undergone regular upgrades adopting the latest scientific evidence. This article presents the most recent upgrades of the tool. The health impacts of walking and/or cycling in a specified population are quantified in terms of premature deaths avoided (or caused). In addition to the calculation of benefits derived from physical activity, HEAT was recently expanded to include assessments of the burden associated with air pollution exposure and crash risks while walking or cycling. Further, the impacts on carbon emissions from mode shifts to active travel modes can now be assessed. The monetization of impacts using Value of Statistical Life and Social Costs of Carbon now uses country-specific values. As active travel inherently results in often substantial health benefits as well as not always negligible risks, assessments of active travel behavior or policies are incomplete without considering health implications. The recent developments of HEAT make it easier than ever to obtain ballpark estimates of health impacts and carbon emissions related to walking and cycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
An Assessment of Annual Mortality Attributable to Ambient PM2.5 in Bangkok, Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197298 - 06 Oct 2020
Abstract
Multiple studies indicate that PM2.5 is the most deleterious air pollutant for which there are ambient air quality standards. Daily concentrations of PM2.5 in Bangkok, Thailand, continuously exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Thai National Ambient Air Quality Standards [...] Read more.
Multiple studies indicate that PM2.5 is the most deleterious air pollutant for which there are ambient air quality standards. Daily concentrations of PM2.5 in Bangkok, Thailand, continuously exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Thai National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQSs). Bangkok has only recently begun to measure concentrations of PM2.5. To overcome this paucity of data, daily PM2.5/PM10 ratios were generated over the period 2012–2018 to interpolate missing values. Concentration-response coefficients (β values) for PM2.5 versus non-accidental, cardiopulmonary, and lung cancer mortalities were derived from the literature. Values were also estimated and were found to be comparable to those reported in the literature for a Chinese population, but considerably lower than those reported in the literature from the United States. These findings strongly suggest that specific regional β values should be used to accurately quantify the number of premature deaths attributable to PM2.5 in Asian populations. Health burden analysis using the Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program (BenMAP) showed that PM2.5 concentration in Bangkok contributes to 4240 non-accidental, 1317 cardiopulmonary, and 370 lung cancer mortalities annually. Further analysis showed that the attainment of PM2.5 levels to the NAAQSs and WHO guideline would reduce annual premature mortality in Bangkok by 33%and 75%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Process, Practice and Progress: A Case Study of the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of Brexit in Wales
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6652; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186652 - 12 Sep 2020
Abstract
Health impact assessment (HIA) is a systematic and flexible tool, which is advocated by the World Health Organisation as a method through which to consider the impact of policies on the health and well-being of a population, and the inequalities that may arise [...] Read more.
Health impact assessment (HIA) is a systematic and flexible tool, which is advocated by the World Health Organisation as a method through which to consider the impact of policies on the health and well-being of a population, and the inequalities that may arise because of it. In 2018, the HIA support unit in Wales carried out a comprehensive and unique HIA on the impact of Brexit in Wales. The aims were to understand the differential impacts that Brexit would have on the health and well-being of the population and to provide evidence to inform decision makers across a range of public bodies. It followed a five-step process for HIA and utilised a wide range of evidence sources and health intelligence including both quantitative and qualitative evidence. This paper reflects on the process of carrying out the HIA and the methods used. It discusses the stages of the HIA, and shares the findings and reflections of implementation which will be beneficial to other HIA practitioners and policy makers. It does not concentrate on the findings of the HIA in detail, but focusses on what worked and any challenges encountered. It has been used to progress the practice of HIA in Wales and demonstrates the value of HIA as a method to inform and influence complex decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Analysis of Health Impact Assessment Implementation Models in the Regions of Montérégie (Québec, Canada) and Nouvelle-Aquitaine (France)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6558; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186558 - 09 Sep 2020
Abstract
Many countries have introduced health impact assessment (HIA) at the national, regional, or local levels. In France and in Québec, there is increasing interest in using HIA to inform decision-makers and influence policies, programs, and projects. This paper aims to compare HIA implementation [...] Read more.
Many countries have introduced health impact assessment (HIA) at the national, regional, or local levels. In France and in Québec, there is increasing interest in using HIA to inform decision-makers and influence policies, programs, and projects. This paper aims to compare HIA implementation models in two regions: Nouvelle-Aquitaine (France) and Montérégie (Québec, Canada) using a case study methodology. The objective is to gain a better understanding of the similarities and differences in the approaches used to achieve the operationalization of HIA. The methodological approach involves four steps: (1) design of an analytical framework based on the literature; (2) exchanges within the research team and review of documents concerning the two implementation strategies under study; (3) development of the case studies based on the proposed framework; and (4) cross-comparison analysis of the case studies. The findings show that the two regions share certain similarities, including the strong commitment and political will of the public health organizations involved and a well-established culture of engaging in intersectoral action with municipal partners. Differences mainly concern their different approaches to implementing HIAs in accordance with the regional policies and the organizational and administrative contexts in place. This study identifies potential avenues for supporting the practice of HIA at the municipal level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
The Potential Impacts of Urban and Transit Planning Scenarios for 2031 on Car Use and Active Transportation in a Metropolitan Area
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5061; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145061 - 14 Jul 2020
Abstract
Land use and transportation scenarios can help evaluate the potential impacts of urban compact or transit-oriented development (TOD). Future scenarios have been based on hypothetical developments or strategic planning but both have rarely been compared. We developed scenarios for an entire metropolitan area [...] Read more.
Land use and transportation scenarios can help evaluate the potential impacts of urban compact or transit-oriented development (TOD). Future scenarios have been based on hypothetical developments or strategic planning but both have rarely been compared. We developed scenarios for an entire metropolitan area (Montreal, Canada) based on current strategic planning documents and contrasted their potential impacts on car use and active transportation with those of hypothetical scenarios. We collected and analyzed available urban planning documents and obtained key stakeholders’ appreciation of transportation projects on their likelihood of implementation. We allocated 2006–2031 population growth according to recent trends (Business As Usual, BAU) or alternative scenarios (current planning; all in TOD areas; all in central zone). A large-scale and representative Origin-Destination Household Travel Survey was used to measure travel behavior. To estimate distances travelled by mode, in 2031, we used a mode choice model and a simpler method based on the 2008 modal share across population strata. Compared to the BAU, the scenario that allocated all the new population in already dense areas and that also included numerous public transit projects (unlikely to be implemented in 2031), was associated with greatest impacts. Nonetheless such major changes had relatively minor impacts, inducing at most a 15% reduction in distances travel by car and a 28% increase in distances walked, compared to a BAU. Strategies that directly target the reduction of car use, not considered in the scenarios assessed, may be necessary to induce substantial changes in a metropolitan area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Inclusion of Health in Impact Assessment: A Review of Current Practice in Sub-Saharan Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114155 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Natural resource extraction projects, including those in the mining sector, have various effects on human health and wellbeing, with communities in resource-rich areas in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) being particularly vulnerable. While impact assessments (IA) can predict and mitigate negative effects, it is unclear [...] Read more.
Natural resource extraction projects, including those in the mining sector, have various effects on human health and wellbeing, with communities in resource-rich areas in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) being particularly vulnerable. While impact assessments (IA) can predict and mitigate negative effects, it is unclear whether and to what extent health aspects are included in current IA practice in SSA. For collecting IA reports, we contacted 569 mining projects and 35 ministries regulating the mining sector. The reports obtained were complemented by reports identified in prior research. The examination of the final sample of 44 IA reports revealed a heavy focus on environmental health determinants and included health outcomes were often limited to a few aspects, such as HIV, malaria and injuries. The miniscule yield of reports (1.6% of contacted projects) and the low response rate by the contacted mining companies (18%) might indicate a lack of transparency in the IA process of the mining sector in SSA. To address the shortcomings identified, policies regulating IA practice should strengthen the requirements for public disclosure of IA reports and promote a more comprehensive inclusion of health in IA, be it through stand-alone health impact assessment or more rigorous integration of health in other forms of IA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Community Health Impacts of the Trident Copper Mine Project in Northwestern Zambia: Results from Repeated Cross-Sectional Surveys
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3633; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103633 - 21 May 2020
Abstract
The application of a health impact assessment (HIA) for a large-scale copper mining project in rural Zambia triggered the long-term monitoring and evaluation of determinants of health and health outcomes in communities living in proximity to the mine. Three consecutive cross-sectional surveys were [...] Read more.
The application of a health impact assessment (HIA) for a large-scale copper mining project in rural Zambia triggered the long-term monitoring and evaluation of determinants of health and health outcomes in communities living in proximity to the mine. Three consecutive cross-sectional surveys were conducted at intervals of four years; thus, at baseline (2011), four (2015) and eight (2019) years into the project’s development. Using the same field and laboratory procedures, the surveys allowed for determining changes in health indicators at the household level, in young children (<5 years), school attendees (9–14 years) and women (15–49 years). Results were compared between communities considered impacted by the project and communities outside the project area (comparison communities). The prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum infection increased in both the impacted and comparison communities between 2011 and 2019 but remained consistently lower in the impacted communities. Stunting in children < 5 years and the prevalence of intestinal parasite infections in children aged 9–14 years mostly decreased. In women of reproductive age, selected health indicators (i.e., anaemia, syphilis, underweight and place of delivery) either remained stable or improved. Impacted communities generally showed better health outcomes than comparison communities, suggesting that the health interventions implemented by the project as a consequence of the HIA have mitigated potential negative effects and enhanced positive effects. Caution is indicated to avoid promotion of health inequalities within and beyond the project area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Current Global Health Impact Assessment Practice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 2988; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17092988 - 25 Apr 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Health impact assessment (HIA) practice has expanded across the world, since it was established more than two decades ago. This paper presents a snapshot of current global HIA practice based on the findings of an online questionnaire survey. HIA practitioners from all world [...] Read more.
Health impact assessment (HIA) practice has expanded across the world, since it was established more than two decades ago. This paper presents a snapshot of current global HIA practice based on the findings of an online questionnaire survey. HIA practitioners from all world regions were invited to participate. A total of 122 HIA practitioners from 29 countries completed the survey, following a broad international outreach effort. The large variety in the types of HIAs conducted, and the application of HIA in various fields reported by respondents, demonstrates that HIA practice has evolved over the past two decades. Although differences in the use of HIA were reported across world regions, an overall increasing trend in global HIA practice can be observed. In order to sustain this upward trend, efforts are needed to address the main barriers in the utilisation of HIA. The establishment of new national and international HIA teaching and training offerings seems to be an obvious strategy to pursue along with the strengthening of policies and legal frameworks that specify the circumstances, under which HIA is required, and to what extent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Health Impact Assessments in Spain: Have They Been Effective?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2959; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082959 - 24 Apr 2020
Abstract
Background: Health impact assessment (HIA) has scarcely been developed in Spain, in comparison with other European countries. Moreover, little is known about the effectiveness of HIA, taking into account direct impacts—changes on the decision-making process—as well as indirect impacts or those related to [...] Read more.
Background: Health impact assessment (HIA) has scarcely been developed in Spain, in comparison with other European countries. Moreover, little is known about the effectiveness of HIA, taking into account direct impacts—changes on the decision-making process—as well as indirect impacts or those related to the process outcomes. From this broad perspective of HIA usefulness, the purpose was to assess the effectiveness of five HIAs carried out in Spain at the local level, and the role played by context and process factors on these impacts. Methods: We carried out a qualitative study based on 14 interviews to HIAs participants from different sectors. A documentary review and nonparticipant observation techniques were implemented for an in depth understanding. Results: The direct effectiveness of the HIAs was partial, but they had indirect effectiveness in all cases. The institutional and socio-political context, however, was not favorable to effectiveness. The elements of the process were largely determined by the context, although their influence, mediated by the role of proactive individuals, favored the effectiveness of the HIAs. Conclusions: When assessing HIA effectiveness, it is important to take into account a broad perspective on the nature of impacts and those factors influencing direct and indirect effectiveness. In Spain, the institutional and sociopolitical context was less favorable to HIA effectiveness than process-related factors. In order to implement the Health in All Policies strategy, will be necessary to improve context-related factors, such as institutional facilitators for HIA and democratic quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Potential Health Risks Associated with the Intake of Heavy Metals in Fish Harvested from the Largest Estuary in Colombia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2921; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082921 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
This study assesses the potential human health risks posed by six heavy metals (Hg, As, Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn) found in five of the most consumed fish species (Mugil incilis, Centropomus undecimalis, Cathorops mapale, Eugerres plumieri, and Elops smithi) collected [...] Read more.
This study assesses the potential human health risks posed by six heavy metals (Hg, As, Pb, Cd, Cu, and Zn) found in five of the most consumed fish species (Mugil incilis, Centropomus undecimalis, Cathorops mapale, Eugerres plumieri, and Elops smithi) collected by the riverine population living in Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta (CGSM), the largest estuary in Colombia. Metal concentrations were low compared with those reported in other regions around the world and the maximum value established by international monitoring organizations. The estimation of the potential risk (HQ) indicated that Cu and Hg could generate negative effects in groups of women of childbearing age (WCA) and the remaining population (RP), because they exceeded their related reference doses, with HQ values > 1; however, Cu and Hg concentrations were not high in fish and EWI, MFW, or MeHgPSL values shows that there is no evidence of a potential health risk from MeHg exposure in the study population. Therefore, the recommendations are to establish continuous monitoring of heavy metals together with strategies that address the high fish consumption, as well as to implement mechanisms for the mitigation of contamination of the watershed, to ensure the safety of organisms in the ecosystem and human health, not only of populations who depend on aquatic resources in the area but also of those that market and consume these resources in the Colombian Caribbean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Systematic Assessment of Health Risk from Metals in Surface Sediment of the Xiangjiang River, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1677; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051677 - 04 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The common empirical screening method is limited to a preliminary screen target from vast elements for human health risk assessments. Here, an element screening procedure was developed for assessing the human health risk of the elements in the sediment of the Xiangjiang River. [...] Read more.
The common empirical screening method is limited to a preliminary screen target from vast elements for human health risk assessments. Here, an element screening procedure was developed for assessing the human health risk of the elements in the sediment of the Xiangjiang River. Ninety-six surface sediment samples from eight sampling stations were collected and 27 elements of each sample were investigated. Thirteen of the 27 elements were screened for human health risk assessments through the three-run selections by calculating anthropogenic factors, building element maps, and the removal of unnecessary elements. Pb posed the greatest health risk and exhibited a potential noncarcinogenic risk for adults at the stations S4 and S5, although no visible noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic risk for adults and children in the Xiangjiang River. Our study also suggested that the chalcophile elements were associated with greater health risk, compared to the lithophile and siderophile ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
The Agglomeration of Manufacturing Industry, Innovation and Haze Pollution in China: Theory and Evidence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1670; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051670 - 04 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Haze pollution in China is a serious environmental issue, which does harm both to people’s health and to economic development. Simultaneously, as an important industrial development law, agglomeration may result in the increased concentration of manufacturing firms and, consequently, an increase in haze [...] Read more.
Haze pollution in China is a serious environmental issue, which does harm both to people’s health and to economic development. Simultaneously, as an important industrial development law, agglomeration may result in the increased concentration of manufacturing firms and, consequently, an increase in haze pollution. However, the positive externalities of agglomeration can also improve the efficiency of regional innovation, which curbs haze pollution. In this paper, we construct both theoretical and empirical models to investigate the effects of industrial manufacturing agglomeration on haze pollution. The results reveal the following: (1) By incorporating the effect of agglomeration and haze pollution into a general endogenous growth model, we show an inverted-U relationship between agglomeration and haze pollution on the balance growth path. (2) Based on data concerning haze pollution (PM2.5) and data from 285 Chinese cities, the empirical results verify the findings of the theoretical model. Further, we calculated the values of agglomeration variables, with respect to the inflection points of the inverted-U, which the cities need to reach in order to gain the specific agglomeration values required to enjoy the inhibition effect of agglomeration on haze pollution. (3) A heterogeneity analysis shows that the inverted-U relationship is more obvious among the cities in the middle and northeastern areas of China, as well as medium-size cities. (4) Cities’ environmental regulation policies and high-quality institutional environments can restrain the positive effect of agglomeration on haze pollution. (5) Using three measures of innovation, it is also empirically found that innovation is the mechanism (mediator) between agglomeration and haze pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of a Fluvial Environment Recovery Project in a Medium-Sized Spanish Town
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1484; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051484 - 25 Feb 2020
Abstract
Introduction: The Interdepartamental Public Health Plan of Catalonia (2014) seeks to enforce Health in All Policies (HiAP) at the regional and local levels. Within this context, the City Council of Sant Andreu de la Barca (SAB), the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (MAB), and [...] Read more.
Introduction: The Interdepartamental Public Health Plan of Catalonia (2014) seeks to enforce Health in All Policies (HiAP) at the regional and local levels. Within this context, the City Council of Sant Andreu de la Barca (SAB), the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (MAB), and the Public Health Agency of Catalonia started a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of an urbanistic redesign of the Llobregat fluvial area in SAB, the results of which are presented in this paper. Methodology: In 2018, after a HIA screening, a prospective nonquantitative HIA was conducted. Politicians, professionals, and citizens participated in identifying potential impacts. Impacts were prioritized and linked to health determinants, scientific evidence, and potentially affected social groups. Afterwards, recommendations were formulated in order to improve the health impacts of the project. Finally, indicators were selected to evaluate HIA implementation. Results: The HIA was successfully implemented with the participation of technicians and citizens of SAB. The health impacts identified were mainly related to environmental, public safety, lifestyle, socioeconomic, and political contexts. Ten recommendations were defined to minimize the potential negative health impacts of the project, with six of them directly included and only one dismissed due to incompatibility. Conclusion: A HIA was successfully carried out in the medium-sized town of Catalonia, promoting Health in all Policies at a local level and improving health impacts of an urbanistic project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
Open AccessArticle
Burden of Disease Assessment of Ambient Air Pollution and Premature Mortality in Urban Areas: The Role of Socioeconomic Status and Transportation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1166; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041166 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
With recent rapid urbanization, sustainable development is required to prevent health risks associated with adverse environmental exposures from the unsustainable development of cities. Ambient air pollution is the greatest environmental risk factor for human health and is responsible for considerable levels of mortality [...] Read more.
With recent rapid urbanization, sustainable development is required to prevent health risks associated with adverse environmental exposures from the unsustainable development of cities. Ambient air pollution is the greatest environmental risk factor for human health and is responsible for considerable levels of mortality worldwide. Burden of disease assessment (BoD) of air pollution in and across cities, and how these estimates vary according to socioeconomic status and exposure to road traffic, can help city planners and health practitioners to mitigate adverse exposures and promote public health. In this study, we quantified the health impacts of air pollution exposure (PM2.5 and NO2) at the census tract level in Houston, Texas, employing a standard BoD assessment framework to estimate the premature deaths (adults 30 to 78 years old) attributable to PM2.5 and NO2. We found that 631 (95% CI: 366–809) premature deaths were attributable to PM2.5 in Houston, and 159 (95% CI: 0-609) were attributable to NO2, in 2010. Complying with the World Health Organization air quality guidelines (annual mean: 10 μg/m3 for PM2.5) and the US National Ambient Air Quality standard (annual mean: 12 μg/m3 for PM2.5) could save 82 (95% CI: 42–95) and 8 (95% CI: 6–10) lives in Houston, respectively. PM2.5 was responsible for 7.3% of all-cause premature deaths in Houston, in 2010, which is higher than the death rate associated with diabetes mellites, Alzheimer’s disease, or motor vehicle crashes in the US. Households with lower income had a higher risk of adverse exposure and attributable premature deaths. We also showed a positive relationship between health impacts attributable to air pollution and road traffic passing through census tracts, which was more prominent for NO2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
The ARTEMIS Center: An Environmental Health Prevention Platform Dedicated to Reproduction
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030694 - 21 Jan 2020
Abstract
In France, a new approach is being developed through the ARTEMIS Center, which is a prevention platform for environmental health dedicated to reproduction. The objective is to describe the clinical management of patients in the ARTEMIS center. Couples with a condition affecting reproduction [...] Read more.
In France, a new approach is being developed through the ARTEMIS Center, which is a prevention platform for environmental health dedicated to reproduction. The objective is to describe the clinical management of patients in the ARTEMIS center. Couples with a condition affecting reproduction are referred to the ARTEMIS center. Management includes a medical consultation and a standardized interview. Current exposure is assessed by a questionnaire that includes exposure circumstances to reproductive risk factor and on the basis of which it is possible to implement preventive action in clinical practice without prejudging the role of such exposure in the onset of disease. From 16 February 2016 to 2 May 2019, 779 patients were seen in the ARTEMIS center. On the day of the consultation, 88.3% men and 72.2% women were employed. Among employed men, 61.5% had at least one instance of occupational exposure to a reproductive risk factor, and among employed women, 57.8%. The main nonprofessional circumstances of exposure identified were proximity of the residence to an agricultural area (35.3%) and domestic pesticide exposure (79.7%). The preventive actions implemented by the ARTEMIS center are targeted to the individual practices of patients. However, patient care also allows their physicians to become familiarized with environmental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
PM2.5-Related Health Economic Benefits Evaluation Based on Air Improvement Action Plan in Wuhan City, Middle China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17020620 - 18 Jan 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
On the basis of PM2.5 data of the national air quality monitoring sites, local population data, and baseline all-cause mortality rate, PM2.5-related health economic benefits of the Air Improvement Action Plan implemented in Wuhan in 2013–2017 were investigated using health-impact [...] Read more.
On the basis of PM2.5 data of the national air quality monitoring sites, local population data, and baseline all-cause mortality rate, PM2.5-related health economic benefits of the Air Improvement Action Plan implemented in Wuhan in 2013–2017 were investigated using health-impact and valuation functions. Annual avoided premature deaths driven by the average concentration of PM2.5 decrease were evaluated, and the economic benefits were computed by using the value of statistical life (VSL) method. Results showed that the number of avoided premature deaths in Wuhan are 21,384 (95% confidence interval (CI): 15,004 to 27,255) during 2013–2017, due to the implementation of the Air Improvement Action Plan. According to the VSL method, the obtained economic benefits of Huangpi, Wuchang, Hongshan, Xinzhou, Jiang’an, Hanyang, Jiangxia, Qiaokou, Jianghan, Qingshan, Caidian, Dongxihu, and Hannan District were 8.55, 8.19, 8.04, 7.39, 5.78, 4.84, 4.37, 4.04, 3.90, 3.30, 2.87, 2.42, and 0.66 billion RMB (1 RMB = 0.1417 USD On 14 October 2019), respectively. These economic benefits added up to 64.35 billion RMB (95% CI: 45.15 to 82.02 billion RMB), accounting for 4.80% (95% CI: 3.37% to 6.12%) of the total GDP of Wuhan in 2017. Therefore, in the process of formulating a regional air quality improvement scheme, apart from establishing hierarchical emission-reduction standards and policies, policy makers should give integrated consideration to the relationship between regional economic development, environmental protection and residents’ health benefits. Furthermore, for improving air quality, air quality compensation mechanisms can be established on the basis of the status quo and trends of air quality, population distribution, and economic development factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
A Transport Policy Whose Injury Impacts May Go Unnoticed: More Walking, Cycling and Use of Public Transport
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193668 - 29 Sep 2019
Abstract
It is an objective of transport policy in many countries and cities to promote walking, cycling and the use of public transport. This policy seeks to improve public health and reduce emissions contributing to global warming. It is, however, very likely that more [...] Read more.
It is an objective of transport policy in many countries and cities to promote walking, cycling and the use of public transport. This policy seeks to improve public health and reduce emissions contributing to global warming. It is, however, very likely that more walking, cycling and use of public transport will be associated with an increase in traffic injury. Moreover, it is likely that most of this increase will go unnoticed and not be recorded in official road accident statistics. Official statistics on traffic injury are known to be very incomplete as far as injuries to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport passengers are concerned. This incompleteness is a problem when assessing health impacts of more walking, cycling and travel by public transport. In this paper, studies made in the city of Oslo, Norway (population 700,000) are used to develop numerical examples showing how the estimated real and recorded number of injuries may change when 10% of person km of travel performed by car are transferred to walking, cycling or public transport. It is shown that not more than about 2% of the estimated change in the actual number of injured road users will be recorded by official statistics on traffic injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Health Effects of Energy Intensive Sectors and the Potential Health Co-Benefits of a Low Carbon Industrial Transition in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3022; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173022 - 21 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Background: The issues of environmental pollution and its effects on health have become increasingly serious in China. Energy intensive sectors are not only the main energy consumers, but also the main sources of air pollution. Analyzing the health effects of energy intensive sectors [...] Read more.
Background: The issues of environmental pollution and its effects on health have become increasingly serious in China. Energy intensive sectors are not only the main energy consumers, but also the main sources of air pollution. Analyzing the health effects of energy intensive sectors and the potential health co-benefits of a low carbon industrial transition is of great importance for promoting China’s air pollution control. Methods: This study used the exposure-response (ER) relationship model and inhalation factor methods to quantitatively analyze the health effects of air pollution and forecast the potential health co-benefits in the power and steel sectors. Results: The results showed that in 2016 SO2 and PM2.5 emissions caused about 850,000 premature deaths, and 10 million cases of respiratory diseases and chest discomfort, resulting in health-related economic losses of 1.2 trillion Yuan, accounting for 1.6% of the GDP. Meanwhile, demand control in consumption could significantly reduce SO2 emissions in the power and steel sectors, thus offering significant health co-benefits. However, there was still some uncertainty regarding the reduction of PM2.5 emissions in the steel sector. Conclusions: There is a need to take advantage of the health co-benefits of emission reduction in energy intensive sectors and to adopt flexible means to stimulate their green transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessConference Report
Recent Advances in Health Impact Assessment and Health in All Policies Implementation: Lessons from an International Convening in Barcelona
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7714; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217714 - 22 Oct 2020
Abstract
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) and Health in All Policies (HiAP) are policy tools used to include health considerations in decision-making processes across sectors such as transportation, education, and criminal justice that can play a role in improving health and equity. This article summarizes [...] Read more.
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) and Health in All Policies (HiAP) are policy tools used to include health considerations in decision-making processes across sectors such as transportation, education, and criminal justice that can play a role in improving health and equity. This article summarizes proceedings from an international convening of HIA and HiAP experts held in July 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. The presentations and panel discussions included different models, best practices, and lessons learned, including from government, international banks, think tanks, and academia. Participants discussed ideas from around the world for cross-sector collaboration to advance health. The convening covered the following topics: community engagement, building greater understanding of and support for HiAP, and exploring how mandates for HIA and HiAP approaches may advance health and equity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessBrief Report
The Elaboration of an Intersectoral Partnership to Perform Health Impact Assessment in Urban Planning: The Experience of Quebec City (Canada)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7556; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207556 - 17 Oct 2020
Abstract
Health impact assessments (HIA) allow evaluation of urban interventions’ potential effects on health and facilitate decision-making in the urban planning process. However, few municipalities have implemented this method in Canada. This paper presents the approach developed with partners, the process, and the outcomes [...] Read more.
Health impact assessments (HIA) allow evaluation of urban interventions’ potential effects on health and facilitate decision-making in the urban planning process. However, few municipalities have implemented this method in Canada. This paper presents the approach developed with partners, the process, and the outcomes of HIA implementation after seven years of interinstitutional collaborations in Quebec City (ten HIA). Using direct observation and meeting minutes, information includes: perceived role of each institution taking part in HIA beforehand, how the HIA process was implemented, if it was appreciated, and which outcomes were observed. The intersectoral interactions contributed to the development of a common language, which sped up the HIA process over time and fostered positive collaborations in unrelated projects. It was an effective tool to share concerns and responsibilities among independent institutions. This experience resulted in the creation of an informal group of stakeholders from four different institutions that perform HIA to this day in collaboration with researchers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessProtocol
Study Protocol for the Evaluation of the Health Effects of Superblocks in Barcelona: The “Salut Als Carrers” (Health in the Streets) Project
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2956; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082956 - 24 Apr 2020
Abstract
Superblocks are currently being introduced in Barcelona to respond to the city’s scarcity of green spaces and high levels of air pollution, traffic injuries, and sedentariness. The aim is to calm the streets by reducing the number of square meters dedicated to private [...] Read more.
Superblocks are currently being introduced in Barcelona to respond to the city’s scarcity of green spaces and high levels of air pollution, traffic injuries, and sedentariness. The aim is to calm the streets by reducing the number of square meters dedicated to private vehicles and to reclaim part of this public space for people. Salut als Carrers (Health in the Streets) is a project to evaluate the potential environmental and health effects of the superblock model with an equity perspective in Barcelona. This study aims to explain the various interventions implemented in different neighborhoods in Barcelona and the methods that will be used to evaluate them in a quasi-experimental and health impact assessment (HIA) approaches. Given the complexity of the intervention evaluated, the project employs mixed methodologies. Quantitative methods include: (a) a pre–post health survey of 1200 people randomly selected from the municipal register asked about self-perceived health and quality of life, social support, mental health, mobility, physical activity, neighborhood characteristics, and housing; (b) pre–post environmental measurements, mainly of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter of less than 10 µm (PM10), and particulate matter of less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) and black carbon; (c) pre–post environmental walkability measures using the Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes (MAPS) tool; (d) use of public space and physical activity levels using the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC), a validated observation tool; (e) pre–post traffic injury measures with a comparison group; and (f) the comparison and integration of pre–post assessment with previous HIAs and the improvement of future HIAs. Qualitative studies will be performed to analyze residents’ perception of these effects by using: (a) various focus groups according to different participant characteristics who are more or less likely to use the superblocks; and (b) a guerrilla ethnography, which is a method that combines ethnographic observation and semi-structured interviews. This study, which evaluates the impact of an ambitious urban-renewal program on health, will help to assess the effectiveness of public policy in terms of health and health inequalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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