An Integrated Approach for the Environmental Characterization of a Wide Potentially Contaminated Area in Southern Italy

Daniela Ducci, Stefano Albanese, Lorenzo Boccia, Egidio Celentano, Elena Cervelli, Alfonso Corniello, Anna Crispo, Benedetto De Vivo, Paolo Iodice, Carmela Langella, Annamaria Lima, Maurizio Manno, Mario Palladino, Stefania Pindozzi, Marina Rigillo, Nunzio Romano, Mariangela Sellerino, Adolfo Senatore, Giuseppe Speranza, Nunzio FiorentinoMassimo Fagnano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper deals with the environmental characterization of a large and densely populated area, with a poor reputation for contamination, considering the contribution of environmental features (air, soil, soil hydraulic and groundwater) and the potential effects on human health. The use of Geographic Information System (GIS) has made possible a georeferenced inventory and, by overlaying environmental information, an operational synthesis of comprehensive environmental conditions. The cumulative effects on environmental features were evaluated, taking into account superposition effects, by means of the Spatial MultiCriteria Decision Analysis (S-MCDA). The application of the S-MCDA for converging the combination of heterogeneous factors, related to soil, land and water, deeply studied by heterogeneous groups of experts, constitutes the novelty of the paper. The results confirmed an overall higher potential of exposure to contaminants in the environment and higher mortality rates in the study area for some tumours, but hospital admissions for tumours were generally similar to the regional trend. Besides, mortality data may be strictly dependent on the poor socioeconomic conditions, quality of therapy and a lack of welfare in the area relative to the rest of Italy. Finally, as regards the possible relationship between presence of contaminants in the environment and health conditions of the population no definite conclusions can be drawn, although the present study encourages the use of the new proposed methods, that increase the possibilities for studying the combined effect of more environmental factors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 27 2017


  • Journal Article


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