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Determining the impact of environmental hazards on the health of the population

Environment and Health

Our natural environment, including air, water, soil and the climate, plays a crucial role in shaping our physical and mental health. Addressing environmental factors can protect and promote human health. The SAMRC’s Environment & Health Research Unit (E&HRU) conducts population-based research on environmental risks to health – with particular emphasis on those living in poverty.  The E&HRU – which is made up of experts in environmental epidemiology, public health, chemistry, geography, botany, environmental management and science communication - protects and promotes the health of South African communities by investigating environmental health risks and informing policy.

E&HRU has three main programmes:

Climate Change and Human Health Research Programme

The Climate Change and Human Health Research Programme conducts research on the impacts of climate change on human health and wellbeing in South Africa, and the continent at large.

Persistent Toxic Substance Research Programme

The Persistent Toxic Substance Research Programme focuses on understanding sources of contaminants, assessing their exposure pathways and developing effective strategies for mitigating the impact on human health and the environment. 

Water, sanitation and Society Research Programme

The Water, Sanitation and Society Research Programme addresses complex and pressing issues on access to clean water and sanitation, particularly in low-resource settings.