Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 93, Supplement 1, pp S62–S67 | Cite as

Indicators in Environmental Health: Identifying and Selecting Common Sets

  • John Eyles
  • Chris FurgalEmail author


In association with the proposed goals of the conference, this paper is presented to support the conference discussions on environmental health indicators by providing background on indicators for environmental health and their identification, selection, organization and use. This paper discusses the purpose of indicator use, frameworks used to organize indicators and the common types of indicators in use in monitoring programs today. It proposes a process for the identification and selection of indicators within the different environments, stressing the importance of clear goal definition and scientific and use-based criteria selection to support decisions. Finally, the paper suggests methods by which to organize and limit the number of indicators retained within a program, and the development of a potential “core” of indicators common to many environments and geographical scales.


En lien avec les objectifs de la conférence, l’article alimente les discussions sur les indicateurs de l’hygiène de l’environnement en présentant le cadre de tels indicateurs et de leur choix, leur organisation et leur utilisation. Les auteurs analysent le but du recours aux indicateurs, les cadres servant à leur organisation et les types courants d’indicateurs qui sont utilisés de nos jours dans les programmes de surveillance. Ils suggèrent une méthode de détermination et de choix des indicateurs dans divers milieux, en insistant sur l’importance de définir précisément les objectifs ainsi que les critères scientifiques et ceux qui sont fondés sur l’utilisation et qui servent à justifier les décisions. Enfin, l’article propose des méthodes pour organiser les indicateurs retenus dans le cadre d’un programme et en limiter le nombre et pour définir un groupe potentiel d’indicateurs communs à nombre de milieux et d’échelles géographiques.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geography and GeologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Public Health Research UnitCHUQ - Pavillon CHULBeauportCanada

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