70136 - Environmental Hygiene

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Clean water and sanitation Climate Action Oceans

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The main objective of this course is training students to obtain knowledge and practical skills in the recognition and quantification  of  the exposure  to potentially hazardous environmental factors of chemical, biological or physical nature, to identify the mechanisms of action of environmental stressors, with a specific focus on the gene-environmeent interactions, to obtain basic knowledge in the hazard evaluation and risk assessment


Course contents

Introduction and glossary. Use of key words and key definition

Basic concepts of environmental toxicologi

Basic concept of environmental epidemiology

Classification of pollutants and environmental stressors based on their mode and mechanism of action: toxic substances, mutagens, carcinogens, reprotox, endocrine disruptors

Hazard evaluation. Risk assessment. Standard and innovative approaches. Predictive toxicology

Air pollution, indoor and outdoor pollutants, sources of exposure, health effects 

Water pollution: exposure sourcese, health threats. Emerging pollutants

Soil pollution: exposure sources health threats. Contaminated soils

Food contaminants

Gene-environment interactions

Italian and EU Directives and Regulations



Slides, articles, texts will be provided and/or suggested by the teacher

Teaching methods

Lectures, classroom discussion, debriefings

The course includes 1CFU practical activity (laboratory) based on the use of cell culture in in vitro assays to identify the toxicological profile of chemicals. In 2021, in consideration of the pandemic situation, the practical activity will focus on risk assessment procedures

Assessment methods

Oral exam based on questions regarding the course contents

A written test for the laboratory practice, including a combination of multiple-choice questions and exercises

Office hours

See the website of Annamaria Colacci