Introduction. The Italian contaminated sites of interest for remediation are monitored by SENTIERI, an epidemiological surveillance system describing the health status of populations living nearby these sites. There is an increasing concern on how to assess temporal changes in the health status of these populations. Methods. A sequence of three statistical techniques was adopted to analyse temporal trends of mortality and hospitalization, by using different indicators and reference populations, in a sample of 36 sites with industrial sources of contamination monitored by SENTIERI. Results. Positive temporal trends in health risks are detected reflecting mainly long term effects of industrial activities. The adopted methodology identifies multiple factors influencing the temporal patterns: type of health outcomes, type of disease, and its link with gender and type of emission sources. Conclusions. Reliable methods to assess health profile changes in local populations attributable to contaminations are key elements to measure the impact of remediation activities.