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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2013, Article ID 939267, 13 pages
Research Article

The Health Profile of Populations Living in Contaminated Sites: Sentieri Approach

1Department of Biology and Biotechnologies Charles Darwin, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5-00185 Rome, Italy
2Department of Environment and Primary Prevention, National Health Institute, Viale Regina Elena, 299-00161 Rome, Italy
3Department of Epidemiology, Lazio Regional Health Service, Via di Santa Costanza, 53-00198 Rome, Italy
4WHO European Centre for Environment and Health, Bonn Office, Hermann-Ehlers-Straße 10, 53113 Bonn, Germany

Received 23 March 2013; Accepted 14 May 2013

Academic Editor: Piedad Martin-Olmedo

Copyright © 2013 Roberta Pirastu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


SENTIERI project (Epidemiological Study of Residents in Italian Contaminated Sites) studied mortality in the sites of national interest for environmental remediation (National Priority Contaminated Sites—NPCSs). SENTIERI described mortality of residents in NPCSSs, and it specifically focused on causes of death for which environmental exposure is suspected or ascertained to play an etiologic role. The epidemiological evidence of the causal association was classified a priori into one of these three categories: Sufficient (S), Limited (L), and Inadequate (I). Mortality in the period 1995−2002 was studied for 63 single or grouped causes at the municipal level by computing: crude rate, standardized rate, standardized mortality ratios (SMR), and SMR adjusted for an ad hoc deprivation index. Regional populations were used as references for SMR calculations and 90% CI accompanied SMR values. The deprivation index was constructed using 2001 national census variables for the following socioeconomic domains: education, unemployment, dwelling ownership, and overcrowding. SENTIERI results will allow the priorities setting in remediation intervention so as to prevent adverse health effects from environmental exposure. This paper’s objective is to present the rationale, methods, advantages, and limitations underlying SENTIERI project and to describe data and resources required to apply a similar approach in other countries.