Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)

EHS is a new section established in middle 2014 with the aim of expanding the range of competencies of the Pavia Risk Centre by promoting, sustaining and overseeing research and training in the fields of environmental health science, toxicology and chemical risk assessment.
Subjects addressed in this Section include human and environmental risks associated with extreme situations, as well as understanding and managing events that are associated with complex chemical exposures and emerging risk factors.

Education and training – The EHS Section participates in the activities of the Pavia Risk Centre such as those carried out as part of the training programmes of the University Institute for Advanced Studies (IUSS), in collaboration with the University of Pavia and various European academic institutions. An international Master programme on chemical risk assessment and management will start in October 2014 with the aims of training graduates and professionals on aspects of environmental risk sciences such as assessment and mitigation of chemical risks, emergency preparedness and management of extreme events, with a focus on situations arising from both natural and man-made hazards. Outmost quality training will be assured by a Faculty Board composed of international experts coming from a number of distinguished institutions from around the world.
Interdisciplinary conferences, seminars and workshops focusing on the various aspects of chemical risks and governance of extreme events will also be organised.
Scientific research and consultancy activities – The activities carried out in the EHS Section are oriented towards assessment and management of complex risk situations and the study of “emerging risks” (technological, environmental and human health risks).
New approaches, technologies, systems, and solutions are examined in these studies with the aim of contrasting risks and mitigating the overall consequences of extreme events. In particular, an advanced strategy of “holistic” (total/global) risk assessment will be used as a novel paradigm which builds upon the traditional risk evaluation methods but also includes parallel and integrated/cumulative (chemical and non-chemical) assessments for environmental and human health risks. Risk topics will be addresses by multidisciplinary approaches integrating biomedical sciences, social and behavioural sciences, advanced technology (e.g. telecommunication, remote sensing), computational sciences, statistics and probability, and economics (e.g. resource management, risk insurance law).
Most activities and programmes in the EHS Section are carried out in collaboration with other Sections of the Risk Centre (especially the Aerospace, Hazard/Risk Assessment, and Risk Governance Sections), with the common aim of promoting and maintaining multidisciplinarity and scientific excellence.

Strategic lines
Programmes geared towards the risk mitigation and management cover one or more of the following three main areas:

  • Assessment and management of extreme situations, natural and man-made environmental hazards and risks (e.g. fires, toxic chemicals and risks originated from spills, fires and combustion processes, waste disposal, health hazards resulting from climate changes)
  • Evaluation of uncertainties in environmental and human health risk assessment and management.
  • Technological innovations that can support risk governance and management, hazard and risk assessment, and risk mitigation (for example, nanotechnology and novel “converging” technologies, exploited as a tool for hazardous product or instrument substitution).
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