Human health and environmental risk

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with the basics of the complex relationship between the environment and the health status of the human population. The aim of the course is to lay the foundations for understanding the main risks on human health and to provide quantitative tools for monitoring and to design possible risk prevention strategies
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will be able to critically read the scientific literature on the relationship between environment and health. Starting from a certain risk, he will be able to develop models and strategies that will prevent the dissemination on the population, for example. The student will acquire competences for the use of computational models that require transversal and interdisciplinary skills.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
The lessons will take place on synchronous way using Zoom and asyncronous way using the Moodle platform. Lessons and asynchronous materials will be made available to students one week in advance before the synchronous discussion. There will also be interactive activities in both asynchronous and synchronous forms. Breakout rooms will be used for group activities. Synchronous lessons will be recorded and made available on the Moodle platform. Whenever possible, online exercise and survey platforms will be used.
Course syllabus
The aim of this class is to provide students with basic knowledge about the complex relationship between the environment and the state of health of the human population.
The environment can have an indirect or direct influence on human health, for example by promoting the circulation of pathogens that affect the susceptible population or by means of non-biological factors, such as the presence of chemical and physical contaminants. In this case, it is more difficult to determine a cause-effect relationship and the student will be encouraged to critically study the literature. Finally, the course will discuss when the environment can be the cause of accidents and disability when for example, at work safety and protection measures are not observed. Finally, students will be provided with the essential communication tools to effectively communicate to the population the risks caused by exposure to that specific biological and non-biological agent.

In detail:

1. Human health, risk and disease: main concepts (concept of gene mutation, chromosomal and epigenetic)
2. Health Impact Assessment (HIA or Health Impact Assessment (HIA). Risk Assessment: Health Risk Assessment (HRA)
3. Epidemiology: definition and objectives
4. The Italian Health System today: the business model
5. Disease prevention, disability and handicap. Primary prevention: physical, biological, social, behavioural environment
6. An example of an environment-public health relationship:
COVID-19 and environment.
7. Hints of risk communication.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic biological notions
Teaching methods
Power point presentations, videos, quizzes, discussions with the class, presentation by students in small groups.
Teaching Resources
Guidance for textbooks and scientific articles will be provided during the course. In addition, the slides, videos or other educational forms used during the course will be available to the student.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Examination consists of an oral examination representing 60% of the final grade and the remaining 40% in two in itinere tests as follows:

Annex 1: 20%.
Annex2: 20%.

So 6 points maximum for each trial in itinere and 18 points per oral for a total of 30.

The student's commitment and active participation in all phases of the course will be evaluated for lode.
Practicals: 32 hours
Lessons: 32 hours
Professor: La Porta Caterina
Every Monday, hours to be agreed by email
Teams Platform