Research Activities

The major research programmes in the Centre are:

             Focus Areas


Workplace Allergens and Asthma

  • Exposure assessment for allergens, endotoxins and mycotoxins

  • Allergy (IgE) and Inflammatory markers (ECP and exhaled nitric oxide) for asthma  surveillance

  • Occupational allergies and asthma phenotypes in working populations exposed to high (e.g. food proteins)  and low molecular weight sensitizers (e.g. cleaning agents), risk factors and exposure- response modeling techniques

  • Interventions for occupational asthma

Allergens and Dermatitis

  • Contact dermatitis and risk factors for disease onset


  • Pesticide exposure characterisation  & bio-monitoring

  • Pesticide residues in food and water

  • Pesticides and emergent black farmers

  • Child pesticide poisoning in the urban informal sector

  • Endocrine disrupting pesticides

  • Pesticide neurotoxicity/suicide

  • Highly hazardous pesticides classification and risk reduction

  • Exposure assessment through observation methods

  • Health interventions for low literate workers and lay populations

  • Pest and pesticide risk management approaches including alternatives for urban poor

  • Risk communication, risk perception and environmental health literacy

Mining, Metals and Environmental Pollution

  • Biological and environmental exposures for environmental and occupational chemicals - quantitative, semiquantative and qualitative

  • Occupational lung disease in miners, including silicosis, tuberculosis, COPD and mesothelioma

  • Toxic Metals: Manganese, hexavalent chromium, Arsenic, Copper, Mercury

  • Health effects due to air pollution

  • Health effects due to water pollution

Public health issues with a strong environmental & occupational health interface

  • Tuberculosis HI, neurotoxicity and the workplace

  • Occupational tuberculosis in health care workers

  • Injury – severity measurement

  • Foetal Alcohol Syndrome burden and prevention; toxins in cheap wine

  • Western Cape Provincial Burden of Disease

  • Alcohol and Public Health

  • Upstream interventions to reduce interpersonal violence – including urban upgrading and alcohol policy

  • Developing models of health care for former miners with work related disease

Environmental and Occupational Health  Systems Research

  • Policy on hazardous chemicals

  • Health professionals and community residents environmental health literacy

  • Occupational Health systems research

  • Workers’ compensation systems – mining and non-mining – analysis of reform options

  • Educational and training research in environmental and occupational health

Risk Communication/Translational Research

  • Translating research findings for policy makers and the public

Implementation Science

  • Environmental and occupational health risk mitigation and prevention interventions

Climate Change and Health

  • Climate change, variability, pest infestations and vector borne disease

  • Energy uses and the Health Sector

  • Climate change and implications for endocrine disrupting chemicals

  • Climate change, heat and workers

  • Climate change and air quality

Application of Innovative Epidemiologic Techniques

  • Understanding the epidemiology of hypertension through analysis of longitudinal population surveys, including use of latent variable analysis and structural equation modelling