Air Date: 5-6-2011|Episode 207
This week IAQ Radio welcomes Dr. Michal Krzyzanowski to the show. Dr. Krzyzanowski is a Head of the Bonn Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Centre for Environment and Health, belonging to the WHO Regional Office for Europe...
This week IAQ Radio welcomes Dr. Michal Krzyzanowski to the show. Dr. Krzyzanowski is a Head of the Bonn Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) European Centre for Environment and Health, belonging to the WHO Regional Office for Europe. He is also a Program Manager, Living and Working Environments. His technical work focuses on the preparation of scientific evidence on health impact of environmental hazards, in particular of air pollution. The global update the WHO Air Quality Guidelines is one of the products of his team. Currently, he is coordinating the development of WHO guidelines on indoor air quality. LEARN MORE this week when we discuss the WHO indoor air quality program and two recent publications “Dampness and Mold” and “WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Selected Pollutants”. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain an international perspective on IAQ issues from a world renowned leader Dr. Michal Krzyzanowski!
Some people are so smart that it’s scary… today’s guest on IAQradio Dr. Michal Krzyzanowski Head of the Bonn Office World Health Organization (WHO)- European Centre for Environment and Health is certainly one of those folks. It’s hard to imagine someone being fluent in 5 foreign languages, holding a masters degree in physics plus two doctorate degrees in epidemiology. Dr. K began the interview by providing background info on the WHO: the organization was started in 1948, now is global with 192 member states, with offices in: Geneva Switzerland, Washington DC, Bonn Germany, etc. The WHO’s budget is $2 billion USD per year. The European Centre for Environment and Health focuses on health issues relating to: air quality, housing and health, environment and health, noise, chemical safety, sustainability, climate change, etc. The ministries of health of the member states create the organization’s strategic objectives and directives.
Nuggets gleaned from today’s episode:
•According to the WHO, over 2,000,000 deaths a year are attributed to household solid fuel combustion.
•Dampness and mould is the umbrella subject for indoor air bio-contaminates. The WHO reviewed the accumulated body of scientific evidence. Throughout the European Union 15%-18% percent of the population lives in damp houses, in select countries and areas as many as 40% of the population lives in damp housing. The review agreed that damp housing exacerbates asthma and respiratory irritation, that a link exists between dampness, mould and other effects, and that it was less well established that dampness and mould causes asthma. The group found a 50% increase of health risks for people who lived in damp houses.
•Moisture prevention is the primary prevention mechanism, intervention is secondary.
•Prior to focus on dampness and mould the WHO also has concentrated on environmental tobacco smoke, radon and manmade mineral fibers.
•WHO guidelines consider biases including publishing biases.
•“WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Selected Pollutants” focuses on 9 chemicals (CO, formaldehyde, naphthalene, NO2, PAHs, radon, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene. The guideline contains a chapter on particulate matter PM10 and PM2.5. The document is essential and important, the first step in recognizing risks and providing indicators upon which actions can be taken. An abbreviated summary of the document is available.
•Ultrafine particulate matter is a serious concern. The health dangers from ultrafine particulate have been found to be much more widely distributed by the bloodstream than previously thought, damaging more organs and systems than just the respiratory system.
•Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is the most important risk with evidence to support the benefits of avoidance of the contaminate.
Dr. K introduced 2 interesting new concepts for listeners to think about: “The Burden of Disease” and “What is the process of pollution?”
This Week’s Music: “We’ve Got the Whole World’s Health In Our Hands” by the NIGH Project
Z-Man signing off