Health risk assessment

Single scientific studies of the relation between environmental factors and health outcomes can generally not be used as a basis for political decisions or other policy action for prevention of environmentally related disease. In order to assist such activities it is necessary to evaluate and summarize the overall knowledge in the scientific community. Also the exposure situation needs to be evaluated, and susceptible subgroups should be identified.


IMM has important tasks in health risk assessment, and the unit contributes to such activities primarily regarding air pollution, noise, climate change, causes of allergy and environmental health monitoring. The work is mainly based on assignments from international or national authorities and organizations, such as WHO, EU, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. An important part of the work is the production and analysis of national environmental health surveys and reports, which has been performed with 4-year intervals since 1999.

The unit has a special interest in quantitative risk assessment based on population studies, while many other units within in IMM are more focused on risk assessment based on toxicological studies. Several of the etiological studies directed by the unit are based in the Stockholm County, and are particularly well suited to contribute to regional risk assessment to be used by e.g. the municipalities in the county.

One important component is the assessment of population exposure. The methodologies for assessing outdoor levels of air pollution and noise developed partly within the unit contribute greatly to this. In other studies we focus on outdoor-indoor relationships and on personal exposure.


Stockholm County Council, University of Stockholm, Utrecht University, Helmholtz Center Munich, Imperial College London, etc.


  • The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare
  • The European Union
  • The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
  • The Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research
  • The Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation
  • The Swedish Research Council Formas


Adjunct professor

Tom Bellander

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 800 03
Organizational unit: Environmental epidemiology

Professor/senior physician

Göran Pershagen

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 874 60
Organizational unit: Environmental epidemiology

Health risk assessment