Health risks

The purpose of evaluating health risks is to prevent and manage potential long-term risks incurred by a population living in proximity to pollution sources.
This evaluation contributes to the implementation of proportionate risk management measures (emission limits, emission reduction and monitoring plans, etc.).

Designing tools and methodologies

Since very early on, Ineris’ has studied the health and environmental impact of industrial sites; it later expanded in scope to a territorialized approach to risk evaluation. This integrated approach is founded in Ineris’ expertise in evaluating the exposure of populations to chemical pollutants. The Institute develops tools and methodologies adapted to every situation and makes them available to health and environmental agencies.
Ineris developed the MODUL’ERS modelling tool to estimate concentrations, exposure levels, and expected health risks related to chemical substances in the environment. Using this tool, a user can construct an exposure model adapted to a specific context, from the simplest situations to the most complex.

Action in the field

Ineris provides expertise in the field in order to:

  • Design environmental monitoring strategies that are best adapted to monitoring pollutants in a range of environments (surface and subterranean water, soil and ground gas, ambient air and indoor air, etc.);
  • Model the behaviour of pollutants and transfers between environmental compartments (air, water, soil, plants);
  • Provide toxicological expertise.

Reduce environmental inequality

As public policy seeks to account for environmental inequality, the diagnostic tools required must be developed, such as the Environmental Inequalities Analysis Platform (PLAINE), which provides an integrated, spatialized representation of exposure to health risks.
PLAINE was used to create the first regional map of environmental inequalities, which included measurements of exposure to four different metals (cadmium, lead, nickel and chrome).
Models are used to aggregate inhalation, ingestion, or other forms of incorporation in order to estimate the load on the “target organ” for any exposure pathway.  
The PLAINE platform is also used to develop methods based on the concept of the exposome, which is a key aspect of the (third) French National Environmental Health Plan. The exposome concept encompasses both environmental contamination, which addresses population exposure (external dose), and biomonitoring (biomarkers), which helps further understanding of the biological impact on organs (internal dose).