Environmental Health Conference discusses more topics on environmental health threats
- United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, March 18 - 2009 at 12:22
- PRESS RELEASE
The international conference on Environmental Health to conclude its proceedings in Abu Dhabi on Thursday with discussions on the link between environment and health by highlighting the results of the situational analysis for the environmental risks to human health outcome of the situational analysis, assessment of national capacity and rapid environmental risk analysis.
On the conference third day Healthy Homes: Environmental Hazards and Prevention Strategies was the title of the first session. Dr. Eileen McNeely form Harvard School of Public Health said in her presentation that a by-product of the 1970's energy crisis that focused interest in reducing ventilation rates and increasing insulation was the increase in hazards in the home. By the 1980s, problems with formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, asbestos, radon, second hand tobacco smoke emerged as indoor pollution problems and large-scale studies demonstrated that building design, ventilation, material selections, and operations could influence the health of occupants. Sick Building Syndrome emerged as a complex of symptoms related to certain building conditions.
Since this time, researchers have demonstrated ways to mitigate health problems through higher ventilation rates, better air cleaning, and reduced humidity. In addition, many interventions have shown moderate success in reducing symptoms. For example, by reducing exposures to second hand smoke, allergen and PM2.5 particulate matter, asthma symptoms can be minimized.
Dr. Adnan A. Hyder, Associate Professor in the Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University highlighted in his paper Injuries and the Urban Environment: Imperatives for the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
He said injuries are among the leading causes of death and disability throughout the world, and injury rates are highest among middle- and low-income countries. Injury prevention has high potential gain for society because interventions disproportionately reduce death and disability. A systematic approach to injury prevention can help identify the most effective and efficient approaches. Key to these efforts is the recognition of the relationship between injuries and the environment.
He reviewed existing state of knowledge to define the burden of injuries globally and in the Middle Eastern region using both mortality and disability adjusted life years.
Robert Bos, Director of WHO Water, Sanitation and Health Unit presented a paper on Environmental Health Impact Assessment. He said Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a combination of procedures, methods and tools that systematically judges the potential, and sometimes unintended effects of a policy, plan, programme or project of the health of a population and the distribution of these effects within the population. HIA identifies appropriate actions to manage those effects.
He said the Eastern Mediterranean Region of WHO has special characteristics that define the needs for EHIA and the opportunities for capacity building. At this time of economic downturn, most planners and decision makers will have pushed environmental and health concerns to the back of their minds. Yet this is a moment of opportunity to introduce EHIA in development planning through minimum policy and regulatory frameworks which allow to deal with health impacts in an efficient way to the benefit of vulnerable groups, the health sector and development proponents themselves.
Finally, the day concluded with a presentation for Kevin Teichman, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science, Office of Research and Development U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Progress in Children's Environmental Health Protection in USA.
He said safeguarding children from the harmful effects of toxic substances, and encouraging safe and healthy childhood environments, are top priorities for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
He said, "Over the past decade, EPA has established streams of communication with its federal partners as well as university- and community-based researchers. Taken together, these activities are both indicative of the progress EPA has made in, and demonstrative of EPA's ongoing commitment to, improving children's environmental health."
Articles in this section are primarily provided directly by the companies appearing or PR agencies which are solely responsible for the content. The companies concerned may use the above content on their respective web sites provided they link back to http://www.ameinfo.com
Any opinions, advice, statements, offers or other information expressed in this section of the AMEinfo.com Web site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of AME Info FZ LLC / 4C. AME Info FZ LLC / 4C is not responsible or liable for the content, accuracy or reliability of any material, advice, opinion or statement in this section of the AMEinfo.com Web site.