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Toxicol Lett. 2008 Aug 15;180(2):118-22. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2008.05.012. Epub 2008 Jul 7.

Environmental epidemiology and risk assessment.

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  • 1Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Universiteit Utrecht, PO Box 80178, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands. B.BRUNEKREEF@UU.NL


Epidemiology is the science of public health. Environmental epidemiology specially focuses on human health risks related to exposures in the general (non-occupational) environment. Epidemiology studies may contribute to human risk assessment by identifying hazards, by assessing human exposures to toxicants, and by establishing exposure response functions that can then be used to generate risk assessments. Examples are provided for each of these. The strengths and weaknesses compared to experimental toxicology studies are discussed.

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