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Findings from epidemiological studies can be used to make quantitative predictions of health impacts of new developments in a land-use planning context. In UK practice, exposures that may impact on health are described in environmental statements, but the health outcomes are rarely assessed explicitly. Methods for quantitative health impact assessments (HIA) are demonstrated in two case studies: proposals to extend an airport in south-east England and to build a waste incinerator in London. Four dimensions were assessed: particulate matter and gases, airborne carcinogens, transport accidents and noise. Calculations demonstrate that the health of the exposed populations would be affected by both developments, but that the added burden of disease would be very low in comparison with that in the existing population levels. Epidemiology provides a relevant method for extending environmental impact assessment. Quantitative assessment will allow decision-making authorities to make more informed decisions on proposed developments in the context of land-use planning. © IAIA 2010.

Original publication




Journal article


Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal

Publication Date





69 - 75