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Book review
Environmental epidemiology study methods and application
  1. I C Mills
  1. Air Pollution Unit, Health Protection Agency, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Chilton, Didcot OX11 0RQ; inga.mills{at}hpa.org.uk

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Edited by Dean Baker, Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2008 pp 398. £34.95 (paperback). 978-0-19-852792-3

As a young scientist working and pursuing a PhD in the field of air pollution epidemiology I thought that I fit the target readership of this book and was pleased to be asked to write a review. The preface indicates that the book will be of use to professionals dealing with environmental hazards and those wishing to develop an interest in environmental epidemiology. In addition, it is targeted at “intermediate level courses in teaching programmes in public health, epidemiology, and environmental sciences”. Written and edited by distinguished researchers in the field, this 398-page book aims to “develop an understanding and knowledge of environmental methods” with an “emphasis on methodological principles and good practice”.

The book begins with a brief introduction to environmental epidemiology, illustrated by examples of classical studies in the field, such as John Snow’s investigation of London’s cholera epidemic in the nineteenth century and the London smog of 1952. This introductory chapter provides the reader with an understanding of why environmental epidemiological studies are conducted and highlights the multidisciplinary nature of the subject. Following this is a review of the basic principles and terminology used in epidemiology, and although the …

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