Health risk assessment methodologies for the study of vulnerable communities in Latin America [Revisión de las metodologíaas sobre evaluación de riesgos en salud para el estudio de comunidades vulnerables en América Latina] Article uri icon


  • The most commonly used methods for risk assessment are based on environmental analysis and the use of mathematical models for the estimation of exposure. However, the uncertainty of this approach is high, as the models are based on scenarios that may be not the correct ones. In order to decrease the uncertainty, the use of biomarkers has been proposed. Furthermore, considering the complexity of pollution in some sites, these bio-markers can be used both in humans and biota in order to obtain better information for the definition of risks at those sites. In addition to biomarkers, social, health and environmental indicators have to be applied for risk characterization, as different factors of vulnerability can modify the extent of health risks in some communities. At the end, with environmental monitoring and the use of biomarkers and indicators of vulnerability, health risks in humans and biota (integrated risk assessment) can be assessed in different scenarios. In this paper we present the strategies that our group developed for the study of hazardous waste sites, vulnerable communities and areas impacted by climate change.

publication date

  • 2009-01-01