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The environmental burden of disease assessment approach described in this volume is illustrated through its application to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE occupies 83,600 km2 along the Arabian Gulf, with an estimated 2011 population of about 7.5 million. The UAE supports a diversified modern economy and, as a result, faces environmental and public health problems similar to those of other industrial nations. The methods we illustrate build upon a series of guidelines on environmental burden of disease assessment published by the World Health Organization beginning in 2003. Although many countries have employed these guidelines to assess the burden of disease due to individual environmental risk factors, the comprehensive environmental burden of disease assessment across multiple exposure pathways and contaminants described in this book is the first of its kind. This project was intended to serve as a model for other nations wishing to conduct similar assessments. The basic methods can be applied to any nation or subnational geographic unit (such as a state or city). Furthermore, much of the information on relationships between exposures to pollutants and the probability of becoming ill is, and will increasingly be, relevant across the globe. These relationships are specified in the UAE Environmental Burden of Disease Model, a multilayered computer simulation tool constructed in Analytica software. Other countries can adopt this model’s structure, along with much of the input data, as a starting point for their own environmental burden of disease assessments. Also relevant to other nations is the process we used to prioritize risks to include in this analysis—a process that involved systematic consultations with environment and health stakeholders. Other nations can save considerable time and resources in carrying out similar assessments by using the approaches and modeling methods described in this book.
KeywordsUnited Arab Emirates Environmental burden of disease assessment Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi UAE Environmental Burden of Disease Model Environmental risks to public health Analytica Multilayered environmental simulation computer modeling
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