Title: Global Environmental Health
Keywords: Urban health
Country: Spain
Institution: Spain - Barcelona Institute for Global Health - University of Barcelona
Course coordinator: Payam Dadvand
Mark Nieuwenhuijsen
Date start: 2025-05-08
Date end: 2025-05-16
About duration and dates: Duration: 7 days from Monday to Thursday in two weeks from 9:00 to 13:30 h CET (Wednesday May 1st is a national holiday; 4 hours SIT/day plus 30 min break) Application deadline: April 19th, 2024 All course materials (including essential and recommended readings) will be made accessible prior to cou
Classification: advanced optional
Mode of delivery: Face to face
Course location:
University of Barcelona
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Aula Manuel Corachan
C/ Casanova 143
08036 Barcelona (Spain)
ECTS credit points: 3 ECTS credits
Classroom hours: 26
Evaluation hours (group presentation of the final case study): 2

Independent study hours: 47
TOTAL: 75 hours
Language: English
At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

1. Outline the principles of exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, and health impact assessment and describe their application in the field of environment and health.
2. Explain key methods used to assess environmental impacts on health.
3. Describe the sources and pathways of contaminants leading to human exposure, and of environmental perturbations which are potentially hazardous to health.
4. Interpret environmental health from a planetary health perspective
Assessment Procedures:
The assessment will have an individual component (50%) and a group component (50%); grades can be mutually compensated. The individual component will be evaluated through written answers to questions regarding two scientific articles and the group component will be assessed through a final case study:
1. Written answer to questions (50%): Students will be provided with two papers and instructed to submit written answers to a set of questions (5-6 per paper) raised based on those two papers. They will have one week after receiving the questions to hand in their answers.
2. Final case study (50%): Working in small groups during the course of the module, the students are requested to develop a protocol for a case study to evaluate the health implications of a source of environmental pollution on residents of a hypothetical city based on a pre-established guideline offered by instructors on the first day of the course. The groups will present their protocols in public on the last day of the course and receive feedback from their fellow students as well as the course instructors.
The grade of each assessment contributes 50% to the final grade and there is not a minimum required for compensation.
The final grade will be communicated within 15 days after the submission of the case study.
Resit: Students failing to reach the minimum 5/10 in the final grade will have the opportunity to submit an essay on urban health (1500 words), within one month after the publication of the grades. Re-sit grades are not capped
Day 1
● Introduction to the course, environment and health and overview of methods used in environment and health: including study designs, methods and tools, and main exposures studied.
● Environmental exposure assessment and measurement error: overview of the exposure assessment used in environmental epidemiological studies including questionnaires, GIS, personal monitoring and modelling and biological monitoring and the impact of measurement error on health effect estimates.

Day 2
● Ambient exposures and health: air pollution, noise, and greens space: main methods used to assess the health impacts of air pollution, noise, and green space, and the current status of knowledge on the associations between the exposures and health. Issues regarding risk-benefits will be discussed.

Day 3
● Natural and man-made disasters: disaster preparedness and disaster epidemiology; both natural and man-made disasters will be covered, while providing context by focusing on a number of disasters that have occurred in the past.

● Radiation and health: methods applied to assess exposure to and evaluate health effects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiations including nuclear radiation, x-ray, radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (e.g., mobile phones) and the current knowledge about the health effects of these radiations.

Day 4
● Chemical pollutants and health: main chemical pollutants of concern for global health (e.g., pesticides, POPs, phthalates, Bisphenol A, PFOS/PFOA) and the current status of knowledge on the associations between the exposures and health, with a focus on child health. The new “exposome” concept to study multiple exposures and mixtures will be introduced.

Day 5
● Healthy urban living: how different aspects of urban form and planning such as transport and built environment types can affect health. This will be followed by group presentations by students of their case study on the last day of class.

● Climate change & UV exposure: main methods used to assess the health impacts of climate change and UV exposure and the current status of knowledge on the associations between the exposures and health.

Day 6
● Planetary health: introduction to the concept of Planetary Health, an emerging scientific field focusing on the effects of man-made global environmental change on human health and the health of the planet.

Day 7
● Water and health: main methods used to assess the health impacts of water contaminants both chemical and microbial, and the current status of knowledge on the associations between the exposures and health. Issues regarding risk- benefits will be discussed.

● Group presentation of the final case study: case studies will be discussed and receive feedback from fellow students as well as module instructors.
The course is based on active participatory learning methods. Participation in class discussions is encouraged by facilitators.

Lectures, open discussions, group work and case studies will be used.

Self-study: For each lecture the students will be provided with bibliographic references and some questions that they need to read and answer and which will be discussed during the class sessions.
tropEd core course level or equivalent required. Basic knowledge of environmental health.

tropEd candidates must accredit an English language level TOEFL test 550 or 213 computer-based or 79/80 internet-based or IELTS band 6.0 or equivalent
A minimum of 10 students is required for the course to take place. Maximum 30 students.

No limitation for number of tropEd students, but in house students have priority.
For tropEd students: First come, first served
Academic year 2023-24 fee: 525€ + University taxes (90€ approx.)
Not available
Major changes since initial accreditation:
The main changes result of the evolution of this field and the demands of the students have been:
1) Increase the global approach of the course including challenges and examples from different regions of the world, including LMICs
2) Introduce concepts on “Planetary Health”
3) Introduce the concept of “exposome”
Student evaluation:
The evaluation of students in the past have been satisfactory but there had been comments regarding the global approach and content of this course in the context of a master programme in Global Health. As indicated in section 23, these comments have been considered and changes have been made accordingly.
Lessons learned:
Increase in reference to LMIC contexts over the years.
tropEd accreditation:
Accredited in June 2014. Re-accredited in October 2018. Re-accredited in Febr.2024 Online GA. This accreditation is valid until February 2029.
Email Address: mark.nieuwenhuijsen@isglobal.org
Date Of Record Creation: 2014-06-17 04:53:41 (W3C-DTF)
Date Of Record Release: 2014-06-17 10:04:04 (W3C-DTF)
Date Record Checked: 2019-08-14 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2024-06-11 10:27:14 (W3C-DTF)