Potential and Actual Health Hazards in the Dense Urban Operational Environment: Critical Gaps and Solutions for Military Occupational Health

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This paper presents environmental health risks which are prevalent in dense urban environments.

We review the current literature and recommendations proposed by environmental medicine experts in a 2-day symposium sponsored by the Department of Defense and supported by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

Key hazards in the dense urban operational environment include toxic industrial chemicals and materials, water pollution and sewage, and air pollution. Four critical gaps in environmental medicine were identified: prioritizing chemical and environmental concerns, developing mobile decision aids, personalized health assessments, and better real-time health biomonitoring.

As populations continue to concentrate in cities, civilian and military leaders will need to meet emerging environmental health concerns by developing and delivering adequate technology and policy solutions.

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