John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé

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A review of several methods used in France to assessment the impact of chemicals and radionuclides on human health Volume 21, issue 2, March-April 2022

Authors
1 SPAQUE
13, avenue Maurice Destenay
4000 Liège
Belgique
2 Anses
14, rue Pierre et Marie Curie
94701 Maisons-Alfort Cedex
France
3 IRSN
B.P. 17
92262 Fontenay-aux-Roses Cedex
France
4 EHESP
15, avenue du Professeur Léon-Bernard
CS74312
35043 Rennes cedex
France
5 Ineris
Parc technologique Alata BP 2
60550 Verneuil-en-Halatte
France
6 EDF, EDF – DSSPT Pôle Santé Sécurité
Service des études médicales
4, rue Floréal
75017 Paris
France
7 EIfER
Emmy-Noether-Str. 11
76131 Karlsruhe
Allemagne
* Tirés à part

Health disasters in the 1970s and 1980s clearly showed the association between anthropogenic activities and impacts on the environment and on human health. The first tool implemented in the 1980s to evaluate the health impact of chemicals – still used today – is the (quantitative) human health risk assessment. Other methods have been applied over the past 20 years. Members of the SFSE's Section on risk and impact assessment methodologies have, working with other experts in the field, studied six of these in depth to gain a better understanding of what they share and how they differ, and in what contexts each can be used: (quantitative) human health risk assessments, (quantitative) health impact assessments, socio-economic analyses, health impact assessments according to the Göteborg consensus, interpretations of the state of the environment, and radionuclide risk assessments. This article summarizes the outcome of these discussions. Some of these tools yield complementary responses to the topic of human health risk, covering, for example, public health, well-being (now included by WHO in the definition of health), financial costs and radionuclide assessment. Misunderstandings abound about these tools, the terminology used to define them, and their goals. Therefore, clarification is needed to help stakeholders choose the appropriate tool.