Understanding the Health Effects of Air Pollution: Recent Advances to Inform EU Policies

Published 07 January 2013      
Start Date: Jan 30 2013
End Date: Jan 31 2013
Location: Brussels, Madou Auditorium

The European Commission (EC) has declared 2013 as the "Year of Air" to focus on the importance of clean air for all and action to improve air quality across the EU. During 2012 and early 2013, the European Commission in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe is reviewing the latest health science on major air pollutants such as particulate matter (PM), ground-level ozone, and nitrogen dioxide as a key step in evaluating whether to update Europe’s Air Quality policies.

Background: The European Commission (EC) has declared 2013 as the "Year of Air" to focus on the importance of clean air for all and action to improve air quality across the EU. During 2012 and early 2013, the European Commission in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe is reviewing the latest health science on major air pollutants such as particulate matter (PM), ground-level ozone, and nitrogen dioxide as a key step in evaluating whether to update Europe’s Air Quality policies.


Workshop Goals: The overall workshop goal is to inform regulatory and other decisions on air quality and its significance for public health. The workshop will include presentations of findings from recent research and key reviews by WHO Regional Office for Europe, DG-Research and Innovation, and others on air pollution health effects from Europe and the United States. Important questions to be addressed include: What are the latest findings on the health effects of air pollution, focusing on evidence for adverse respiratory and cardiovascular health effects? Is there a concentration below which no adverse health effects are observed for the major pollutants? Can we identify specific sizes, sources or constituents of particulate matter — such as traffic, black carbon, fine and ultrafine particles, and diesel exhaust — that are associated with adverse health effects? The workshop will also summarize how science has advanced our understanding, remaining uncertainties, and identify key areas for further research.


Who should attend: The main target groups of the workshop are the public authorities responsible for air policy development, adoption or implementation; the broader stakeholder community; the research community; and the media.
About the organizers: The workshop will be co-organized by the EC’s Directorate-General for the Environment and Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, the WHO Regional Office for Europe, and the Health Effects Institute.


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