Analysis of Health in Environmental Assessments

A Literature Review and Survey with a Focus on Denmark

Sarah Humboldt-Dachroeden, Birgitte Fischer-Bonde, Gabriel Gulis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In the European Union, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive (2014/52/EU) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive (2011/92/EU) emphasise the assessment of population and human health. The directives require health to be considered within Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). To date, health is mainly considered in connection with negative environmental factors and in terms of risk assessments. The integration of health in EIA as well as SEA has not been investigated in a Danish context, and this study aims to address the missing knowledge. There is a need for a more comprehensive health assessment within EIA and SEA to comply with the EIA and SEA directives. An integration of health into EIA and SEA will ensure a sound examination of health determinants which can improve decision making and thus comprehensively promote and protect health. To establish the status of the inclusion of the assessment of impacts on health into EIA and SEA, a literature review was performed. In addition, a survey addressed to researchers and practitioners was conducted and analysed through a comparative analysis. The survey examined the needs of practitioners and researchers, focusing on the Danish context, regarding the inclusion of health into EIA and SEA. Enhanced intersectoral cooperation of the health and environmental sectors, more specific guidance documents, and underlying this, stronger political support, were identified among needs for more comprehensive health assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4570
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume16
Issue number22
ISSN1661-7827
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • environmental impact assessment
  • strategic environmental assessment
  • health assessment
  • comparative analysis
  • policy review

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