First impressions of novel training in environmental recovery and restoration for undergraduate UK Medical Science students.




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Revista de Toxicologia



Peer reviewed



Recent chemical and biological incidents such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa (2014-15) or the fire affecting a large tire landfill in Toledo (Spain, 2016) has highlighted the importance of training future health care professionals how to respond to these events due to their long-term adverse effects on human health. We have created basic competences that any human science student should have to initially tackle chemical/ biological incidents following major competences recently identified by the European Commission (Peña-Fernández et al., 2016). One of those competences is related to be able to tailor an appropriate environmental recovery and restoration approach to protect public health in the aftermath of any of these events. A novel training has been developed and tested with second (n=41) and third (n=24) year medical science students at De Montfort University (Leicester, UK). Briefly, students developed two intervention programmes in two 3 hours workshops: one related with an outbreak of the emerging human pathogen Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever virus (tested with final year students); and another to restore an environment highly impacted by lead (Pb) (used with second year students). Students use the novel recovery guidance developed by Public Health England (PHE, 2016) to select recovery options and techniques for two environments: urban (soil, parks, buildings and playgrounds, urban animals, health care buildings) and food production systems (e.g. crops). They work in teams to encourage peer-group participation. High levels of students’ engagement have been reported in the feedback questionnaires for second (93%) and third year (67%) respectively. Only 8% of this final year students have reported poor satisfaction, mostly attributed to the long length of the training. Despite our results should be considered as preliminary, the created training may be appropriate to facilitate the acquisition of the basic competences to face these events.



chemical and biological recovery, undergraduate students, recovery and restoration, students’ engagement


Peña-Fernández A., González-Muñoz MJ., Evans MD., Peña MA. (2017) First impressions of novel training in environmental recovery and restoration for undergraduate UK Medical Science students. XXII Spanish Congress of Toxicology and VI Ibero-American, Valencia, June 2017.


Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research
Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)