John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé

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Regional inventory of environmental health: Experience in Southeastern France Volume 4, issue 4, Juillet-Août 2005

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Observatoire régional de la santé Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – INSERM U379, 23, rue Stanislas Torrents, 13 006 Marseille
  • Key words: environment and public health, information systems, environmental monitoring
  • Page(s) : 263-82
  • Published in: 2005

In 2004, the Southeastern France regional council asked the regional health observatory to conduct an environmental health inventory to i) identify environmental health problems in this area; ii) examine the relations between environmental exposure to pollutants and human health; and iii) help public officials to identify priorities in this area. We collected and validated data from national, regional and local institutions, constructed environmental (levels of emissions and pollutants), health (mortality, incidence, prevalence) and behavioral indicators (e.g., complaints about odors), and compared these over time and between places when possible. For each topic, we summarized current knowledge about the links between environment and health. In southeastern France, as in other French areas, indoor air pollution, home and leisure injuries and other home-related risks are public health issues. Other topics are more significant or particular to southeastern France: transportation (air pollution, noise, road accidents, transport of dangerous material), industrial risks, natural disasters, pollen, and infectious diseases (Q-fever, reemergence of West Nile virus). Moreover, residents of PACA have a poorer perception of those aspects of quality of life related to the local environment than do those living in most other regions. These results should now be discussed with actors and experts. Difficulties encountered in this project show the need for a regional and national integrated environmental health database, combined with a summary of current knowledge in this field. The regional inventory of environmental health is available on www.orspaca.org.