About Environment and Health

Determining the impact of environmental hazards on the health of the population

The SAMRC’s Environment & Health Research Unit (E&HRU) conducts population-based research on environmental risks to health - with particular emphasis on those living in poverty.  The Unit - which is made up of experts in environmental epidemiology, public health, chemistry, geography, botany,  and environmental science/management - protects and promotes the health of South African communities by investigating serious health risks such as climate change and rising heat, lead poisoning, air pollution,  environmental exposures from living near mining land, and other health hazards specific to urban environments.

Key focus areas

  • Trends and levels of exposure to lead and other toxic substances in high risk communities;
  • Effects of lead exposure on aggression and violence;
  • Effects of lead exposure on dementia;
  • Environmental hazards to the health of communities in mining areas;
  • Development of Early Warning Systems for Infectious Diseases (Climate and Health);
  • Assessing risks to health from heat in homes, schools and clinics;
  • Town level public health responses to Heat and Heat Waves.

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