Health Risk Assessment (HRA) is a specific approach within Health Impact Assessment (HIA) which attempts to quantify potential negative health impacts.

The Health Risk Assessment that we undertake focus on air, water, soil and noise pollution of development projects. This is generally supported by modelling work undertaken within Environmental Impact Assessments.

We provide high quality consultancy, research, training and mentoring services in health risk assessment (HRA). Phone or email us to discuss your needs.

Industrial Park, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

What is Health Risk Assessment?

Health Risk Assessment  or Human Health Risk Assessment (often abbreviated to HRA or HHRA) is the quantitative assessment of the adverse direct physical health impacts on individuals and groups exposed to single or multiple hazards. These hazards are generally environmental and occupational exposure to chemical pollutants released or transferred into the air, water and soil.

Often the focus is on the extent to which current and possible future exposures are responsible for adverse physical health impacts, and the term ‘burden of disease’ is used to describe the accumulation of associated impacts from the specified pollutants.  

HRA is applicable to policies, plans, programmes and projects, insofar as their effects are mediated through exposure to pollutants or other hazardous substances.  

HRA is made up of the following steps:

    Hazard Identification
    Exposure Measurement
    Dose-Response Ascertainment
    Risk Characterisation

HRA is one important aspect of Health Impact Assessment (HIA). HIA tends to be a broader and more holistic form of assessment that analyses the potential direct and indirect health impacts of a proposal and examines the influences not only of chemical emissions but also the impacts on the wider determinants of health e.g. employment and economy; housing and shelter; transport and connectivity; learning and education; crime and safety; health and social care; social capital and community cohesion; culture, spirituality and faith; arts and leisure; and governance and institutional structures. 

Value of HRA?

The value of HRA is providing a more precise estimate of the magnitude of the likely impact on community health i.e. the potential increase or decrease in a health outcome of interest. For example, how much a change in air pollution becuase of a mining project or air pollution reduction policy is likely to lead to an changes in the levels of community respiratory illness, cardiovascular conditions and life expectancy.

Case Study Example: Rose Energy Biofuel (Poultry Litter) Power Plant