Air pollution exposure assessment in environmental epidemiology: case studies in the Mediterranean area
Keywords:Dispersion models, exposure models, exposure assessment
In environmental epidemiology the air pollution exposure assessment of a population or group of people is a crucial aspect. In absence of a direct assessment exposure to air pollutants by means of biomonitoring, epidemiological studies consider different proxy including measurements of the concentration levels of these pollutants and dispersion models.
The aim of the work is to present strengths and weaknesses related to different modeling approaches in the context of epidemiological studies carried out by us in areas of Southern Italy. Studies highlight how each exposure model presents different levels of uncertainty, which can be addressed by integrating different approaches. The choice of an exposure model strongly depends on the research demand underlying the study that you want to conduct. This requires an integrated approach between epidemiological and environmental skills starting right from the beginning of the work. It is also necessary to carefully evaluate the environmental data or models, before they are included in any exposure model. For what regards the communication of the results, it is necessary to implement public engagement strategies that go beyond the simple dissemination approach, taking due account of the conflict that environmental and health issues usually trigger