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2.2 Factors relating to physical environment

Environmental or external factors associated with the cause, risk or development of disease, conditions or ill health including

  • physical agents, occupational hazards, environmental surroundings, radiation and pollution
  • chemicals and nutrients
  • infection by pathogens and studies of infectious agents

Involves characterising or identifying environmental or external factors that are determinants in the cause of conditions or disease eg studies of infectious agents.

Many studies will involve investigating the impact of environmental factors on biological systems. It may be appropriate to code to both 2.1 Endogenous risks as well as 2.2 Physical risks if the study involves investigating both the external agent and the biological response to that agent.

Excludes studies of infection with prion protein which should be coded as 2.1 Endogenous risks.

Excludes characterisation of antibiotic resistance genes and mechanisms in bacteria which should be coded as 5.1 Pharmaceuticals.