SOILS4EU: Impacts of soil degradation on human health
Conveners: Agnieszka Klimkowicz-Pawlas, Grzegorz Siebielec, Linda Maring
The WHO estimates that approximately a quarter of diseases that affect humans today occur as a result of prolonged exposure to environmental pollution. The SOILS4EU Report is making particular attention to the relations between soil pollutants and human health. Major exposure pathways and possible adverse health effects will be characterized and impacts of emerging pollutants will be emphasized. Available case studies representing linkage between epidemiologic and environmental data will be presented. The Report is also providing a comprehensive overview on the last years´ research on how other types of soil degradation (e.g. soil sealing, erosion, loss of biodiversity) affect human health. There are still many gaps, since such knowledge has not been sufficiently explored and integrated, such as the link between epidemiological data and health or the impacts of emerging pollutants.
The draft content of the report will be presented and discussed during the workshop. Case study examples, data sources, assessment tools and major soil degradation-induced impacts will be shared and discussed with the workshop participants. Finally, recommendations for measures limiting the risk, gaps in data availability and methods to better assess impact of soil degradation on human health will be formulated in order to update the report.
The two SOILS4EU workshops will be held in parallel and their aim is not only to disseminate the findings of the report but to gather expert opinions and feedback on the topic. The conclusions of the workshop will be streamed into the report and submitted to the DG ENV as one outcome of the project.
SOILS4EU is a 3 year project providing support to DG Environment of the European Commission for the implementation of the EU Soil Thematic Strategy. The project is coordinated by Deltares (the Netherlands), with four partners from Germany (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research Germany – UFZ), Poland (Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation – IUNG) and Spain (Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza – IAMZ CIHEAM, and the Spanish National Research Council-Estación Experimental de Aula Dei – CSIC-EEAD).