Environmental Health


At the end of the course, students should be able to:
a) Fit Environmental Health as a dimension of human Health;
b) Understand the fundamental issues concerned about water management and its relationships with Health , with reference to the present situation in Portugal and in the world;
c) know, evaluate and prevent health risks from water consumption and residual water rejection;
d) Interpret and apply the law in water domain;
e) Identify and typify the different kinds of wastes;
f) Evaluate and prevent health risks linked to wastes management;
g) Evaluate the different wastes treatment procedures and select the most sustainable solutions according the law;
h) Understand the wastes value procedures;
i) Know the conceptual and practical matrix concerning the human artificial habitat and its relationship with health, in Portugal and in the World;
j) know, evaluate and prevent health risks from human artificial habitat;
k) Interpret and apply the law in the habitat domain;
l) Fit the habitat related issues in the urbanization, especially in the influence on health from the risk factors in the rural and urban environment;
m) Recognize, evaluate and prevent the health risks from the food chain and food ingestion;
n) Understand the relations between food and the development;
o) Recognize the main risk factors from the air (outdoor and indoor);
p) Identify the effects of climatic changes on human health.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

António Barata Tavares, Susana Viegas


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 38

Teaching language



Available soon


Gray, N. F. – “Water Technology – An Introduction for Environmental Scientists”. Butterworth – Heineman. Oxford. 2002.
World Health Organisation – “Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality, 3rd edition, the Organization. Geneva. 2004.
Freedman, B. – “Environmental Ecology”, 2nd edition. Academic Press. London. 1995.
Higgins, T. E. – “ Pollution Prevention Handbook. CRC Press Inc. Boca Raton. 2000
Comissão Europeia – “Directiva 2000/60/CE – Directiva-Quadro da Água”, a Comissão. Bruxelas. 2000
LaGrega et all – Hazardous Waste Management –Mc Graw-Hill, 2003
Tchobanoglous, Taisen and Eliassen – “Solid Wastes: Engineering Principles and Management Issues” – McGraw-Hill Book Company. New York. 1999
World Health Organisation – “Environmental Health in Emergency and disasters”, the Organisation. Geneva. 2002
DGS. “Fichas Técnicas sobre Habitação e Saúde”. Direcção-Geral da Saúde. Lisboa. 2009
Friis, R. S. – Essentials of Environmental Health, 2nd Edition, Jones & Bartlett Learning. Ontario, 2012.

Teaching method

The teaching methodologies include theoretical presentations, practical sessions, with case studies, individual and group work.
a) Attendance, active participation and quality of participation in class under continuous assessment (20%)
b) Development of individual work (40%)
c) Development and presentation of group work - presentation of a proposal for action / intervention, which includes a process of literature review, analysis and reflection (40%)


Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

1. The new Environmental Health paradigm;
2. The water hydrological and usage cycle; superficial and subterranean waters;
3. Water quality and pollution concepts; Quality parameters. National and communitarian legislation;
4. Chemical, microbiological and radiological pollution;
5. Health risks from water. Risk management;
6. Water supply treatment. Health benefits and disadvantages;
7. Sanitary and epidemiological surveillance;
8. Characterization and treatment of urban and hospital residual waters;
9. Bottled waters – mineral and spring waters;
10. Health and thermal waters;
11. Recreational waters. Bathing and swimming-pool waters quality. The European Blue flag;
12. Law – interpretation and appliance;
13. Solid wastes classification. National law;
14. Source, production and characterization of urban solid wastes, toxic and dangerous and hospital wastes;
15. Solid wastes management. Management hierarchy. Treatment systems and final end;
16. Health risks from solid wastes management;
17. Recycling and increase in value;
18. Human artificial habitat concept;
19. National and communitarian legislation;
20. Politics on urbanism;
21. Health risks from Human artificial habitat. Risk management;
22. Public facilities and public health;
23. Sanitary and epidemiological surveillance;
24. Law concerning habitat – interpretation and appliance;
25. Food and health. Food and economic development. Strategies adopted to fight hunger in the world;
26. Microorganisms and food production. Contamination and deterioration of food;
27. Conserving food;
28. Food security and quality;
29. Toxi-infection and the epidemiologic inquiry;
30. Law concerning food – interpretation and appliance;
31. Outdoor and indoor air quality – health risks;
32. Climatic Changes and Health.