Our relationship with the environment is one of the key determinants of our health as humans. From polluted cities to unspoilt forests, the relationship between people and several environmental factors can result in a number of positive or negative health outcomes. Understanding the elements to be considered, from an epidemiological perspective, when assessing the impact of various factors on human health is a very complex task. Cross-referencing environmental, epidemiological, mortality, urban and territorial data, as well as data on other health, demographic, cultural and social indicators, is essential to outlining possible scenarios for a given population. Such scenarios can then be used, when needed, to plan or adjust health policy measures aimed at improving population health and mitigating damage caused by specific environmental components.
Efforts to prevent diseases of environmental origin generally involve multiple actions, including changing health behaviours and lifestyles and promoting official regulations and measures to ensure the safety of populations exposed to environmental risks.