The 'Centre de Recerca en Epidemiologia Ambiental' (CREAL) [Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology], is an institute created at the end of 2005 with the mission of promoting and developing advanced epidemiological research into the environmental factors that affect human health, in order to help prevent and control their harmful effects.
CREAL’s research is mainly focused on studying the environmental determinants of respiratory diseases, of cancer and of the early effects of environmental pollutants during the first years of life of infants. It is very practical research aimed at developing health protection policies that will lead to a decrease in diseases and social disabilities due to environmental exposure.
Commitment with the public health
The CREAL is kept firm in the role of the environmental epidemiology as a scientific area of the public health and, as such, it demonstrates the will and the commitment for collaborating in the processes of risk evaluation and the practice of the public environmental health. So much in the countries developed like in those who are in routes of development, the public environmental health still confronts big challenges to protect the populations of the effects of physical, chemical and biological agents. These challenges will be obtained by means of competitive projects of research, anticipated education and multidisciplinary national and international collaborations.
CREAL is a joint initiative of the Institut Municipal d’Investigació Mèdica (IMIM-IMAS) [Municipal Institute of Medical Research], the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and the Generalitat, the Government of Catalonia. However, despite its recent constitution, the centre is the heir to a career in environmental epidemiological research that was initially fostered by the Unitat de Recerca Respiratòria i Ambiental (URRA) [Unit of Respiratory and Environmental Research] of the IMIM.
Therefore, the research staff that work for it have great experience in research and in assessing computer systems, evaluating environmental risks and managing crises, as well as training in environmental epidemiological methods and knowledge management.