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released: 30 Mar 2011 author: AIHW media release

There is increasing awareness that our health and the environment in which we live are closely linked. This report compiles evidence on the relationship between health and a selected list of environmental factors including `natural' features (such as temperature and ultraviolet radiation) and aspects of our surroundings which have been created by humans (such as housing and transport). The results of this compilation highlight that: our surroundings can influence our physical health and mental wellbeing through a variety of channels; health and wellbeing may be affected in both positive and negative ways; humans, through their intervention in the environment, can play a vital role in exacerbating or reducing health risks. As the pathways involved can be indirect and complex, this report also examines some of the difficulties involved in assessing the broader relationship between health and the environment.

ISSN 978-1-74249-129-5; Cat. no. PHE 136; 88pp.; Internet only

Full publication

Publication table of contents

  • Preliminary material
    • Title and verso pages
    • Contents
    • Acknowledgments
    • Abbreviations
    • Summary
      • Why look at environment and health?
      • How does this report help?
      • What are the main findings?
      • What don't we know?
  • Body section
    • 1 Introduction
      • 1.1 Australia's environment at a glance
      • 1.2 Environment and the global burden of disease
      • 1.3 Governance and policy
      • 1.4 Definition of key terms used in this report
      • 1.5 Selection of environmental factors
      • 1.6 Review methods and scope
      • 1.7 Structure of this report
    • 2 Understanding the relationship between environment and health
      • 2.1 Environmental health surveillance
      • 2.2 Complications and confounders
    • 3 The natural environment
      • 3.1 Introduction
      • 3.2 Air temperature
      • 3.3 Extreme weather events
      • 3.4 Ultraviolet radiation
      • 3.5 Food safety and water quality
      • 3.6 Vector populations
      • 3.7 Outdoor air quality
    • 4 The built environment
      • 4.1 Introduction
      • 4.2 Indoor air quality
      • 4.3 Walkability
      • 4.4 Transport
      • 4.5 Green space
      • 4.6 Environmental noise
      • 4.7 Overcrowding in housing
      • 4.8 Housing condition
      • 4.9 Hazards in and around the home
      • 4.10 Water fluoridation
  • End matter
    • References
    • List of tables
    • List of figures
    • List of boxes

Recommended citation

AIHW 2011. Health and the environment: a compilation of evidence. Cat. no. PHE 136. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 23 April 2014 <http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737418534>.