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Title: Public health perspectives of municipal solid waste manangement
Author: Mohan, Richard
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2006
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Waste management is a contentious issue for public health professionals. One of the reasons for this is the uncertainty regarding the health effects of waste management installations. This uncertainty is caused by several factors; including the fact that exposure assessment around such installations is complex and has rarely been accurately carried out. The vast majority of relevant health studies have relied on simplistic measures of exposure, such as distance between the source of pollution and place of residence. This project examines exposure to atmospheric pollutants from landfill sites and incinerators. Atmospheric dispersion modelling and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have been used to improve exposure assessment around these installations for epidemiological risk assessment and health surveillance studies. The main finding was that there is no simple relationship between using distance as a proxy for exposure from landfill sites and estimating exposure using GIS analysis of modelled concentrations of atmospheric pollutants. The research also showed how low wind speeds and peak concentrations may also affect exposure assessment around environmental hazards. This approach was applied to several case studies and the lessons learned can be used by the Chemical Hazards and Poisons Division (CHaPD) of the Health Protection Agency to deal with similar incidents in the future. In addition to investigating exposure assessment around landfill sites and incinerators, a toolkit was developed to assist public health professionals when dealing with waste management issues. This guide should improve the public health response to waste issues, making sure that waste management sites pose minimal toxicological risk to public health.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Eng.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available