Environmental and Occupational Health and Hygiene

Head of Department: Dr. Yonah (Eric) Amster

What is environmental and occupational health?

Environmental and occupational health is an incredibly diverse field incorporating the studies of environmental sciences, exposure assessment, toxicology, epidemiology, policy, and health promotion. The field of environmental and occupational health deals with all issues where the ambient or work environment affects the health of the individual or community. It is an increasingly growing field as governments have come to appreciate the cost of environmental pollution on the health of communities and workers. Our department is a regional and national resource center for the study of environmental and occupational health, training in occupational medicine, and promoting healthy environments in northern Israel.

Aims of the teaching program

The department aims to train students from multidisciplinary backgrounds as public health professionals dealing with problems related to the quality of the ambient and work environments. The majority of our students are already working in the public health system.  The department has a large number courses ranging from environmental health policy, environmental epidemiology to toxicology and occupational health promotion. We also offer one of the two graduate programs for occupational medicine physicians in Israel. Students can choose to do the thesis track or the no thesis track. Our graduates find employment with the ministry of health and labor, medical centers and HMOs, industry, non-profits and academia.

Research

The department’s research projects are as varied as the faculty members. In 2015 the department was awarded with a Multi-year cohort study on the health effects of air pollution in the Haifa-Bay Area. Current research projects in the department include:

  • the association between air pollution and cardiovascular disease
  • the association between air pollution and cancer
  • power plant emissions and morbidity and mortality in Israel
  • national resource center for climate change and health

Faculty members

The staff constitutes researchers specialized in varied fields such as environmental epidemiology, exposure assessment, occupational medicine, air, water and soil quality, sewage control, environmental risks and occupational diseases. Our faculty is actively involved in field work and includes leaders in government, academia and medicine.