7th International Conference on the Impact of Environmental Factors on Health
23 - 25 April 2013
The 7th International Conference on the Impact of Environmental Factors on Health took place in Budapest, organised by the Wessex Institute of Technology, UK, and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary.
The conference Chairmen were Professor Carlos A Brebbia of Wessex Institute, and Professor Rita Kiss of the Biomechanical Cooperation Research Centre of Budapest University of Technology and Economics. The meeting followed the success of previous conferences in this series, which originated in Cardiff, UK (2001), followed by Malta (2007), the New Forest Campus of the Wessex Institute (2009) and Riga (2011).
The health of the population depends on good quality environmental factors, including air, water, soil, food and many others. The aim of society is to establish measures that can eliminate or considerably reduce hazardous factors from the human environment to avoid the associated health risk. The ability to achieve these objectives depends on the development of better techniques of measurement and modelling which predict appropriate assessment of risk and allows for new solutions to the proposed.
The interaction between environmental risk and health is often complex and can involve a variety of social, economic and lifestyle factors. Some of the papers in the conference took these factors into consideration, emphasising the importance of considering an interdisciplinary approach.Prof Carlos A Brebbia, from WIT, opened the conference, pointing out the importance of the series of meetings organised by his Institute, the aim of which is to disseminate scientific information worldwide. The success of the conference series is greatly due to the quality of the presentations and the numerous discussions and meetings taking place to develop collaboration among the participants. The papers presented at the meeting as well as all previous conferences in the series are permanently archived in the eLibrary of the Wessex Institute (http://library.witpress.com), where they are easily available to the international scientific community. The book in paper and digital form is widely distributed throughout the world. Papers have been referenced by Crossref and appear regularly in suitable databases, including referencing and abstract services.
Training and research at PhD and post-doctoral levels are another function of WIT. They take place at the Institute New Forest National Park Campus. These activities have originated a software and consulting services unit which applies the innovative ideas originated from WIT research to solve practical problems.
Prof Rita Kiss from Budapest University, Co-Chair of the conference, welcomed the delegates in the name of her Institute and pointed out some of the sights in Budapest.
Conference TopicsThe conference papers covered a series of topics, grouped as follows:
- Risk prevention and monitoring
- Occupational health
- Air pollution
- Socio, economic and planning issues
- Food and safety
- Environmental education and risk abatement
- Waste and wastewater issues
There were a series of invited presentations, including:
“The licensing of a laboratory for manipulating radionuclides in Brazil” by Daniel Bonotto of the Department of Petrology, State University of Sao Paolo (Brazil) at Rio Claro. Daniel is a member of the Sao Paolo State Academy of Science and has carried out important research via problems related to soil and geological problems in the South of Brazil. This paper described the requirements for a laboratory offering a home for the Brazilian National Commission for Nuclear Energy.
“Environmental impact caused by fungal and particle contamination of Portuguese swine” by Carla Viegas, Institute Polytechnic of Lisbon in Portugal. The paper dealt with the health hazards associated with workers in swine farms. Swine fungus can affects lungs and parts of the larynx, particularly the vocal chords.
“Purification capability of broccoli to gaseous ethyl alcohol using an LED lighting system” by Takashi Oyabu, Kanazawa University, Japan. The work described a novel method to grow vegetables using lighting systems, which is in essence a plant factory.
“Biomechanism of knee/hip osteoarthritis” by Alon Wolf, Technion Institute of Technology, Israel. The lecture dealt with locomotion and how the gait cycle works, employing as little energy as possible. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joints, the most complex of which is the knee. It is important to be able to adapt the gait to any new state of the joints.
“Musculoskeletal disorders caused by physical overload: the situation in Latvia” by Maija Eglite, Riga Stradins University of Latvia. The paper dealt with the range of exceptional musculoskeletal disorders which is very common in all the development work. The economical impact is huge as it reduces production and increases health costs. The presentation discussed these problems and how to improve the situation by accelerating the return of the patient to work.
“The lumbar spine at work – subject to biomechanical overload” by Matthias Jager, Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors, Germany. The lectures described how the lumbar spine works and how to improve its balances where necessary.
“Analysis of acoustic climate on board public transport” by Francesco Patania, University of Catania. The speaker referred to the acoustic pollution links in public transport and the different systems in existence, concluding that more research work is necessary in this important field.
“Potential poultry and meat products contamination by aflatoxin B1 due to fungal presence in Portuguese poultry units” by Susana Viegas, Institute Politechnic of Lisbon, Portugal. The paper discussed the risks involved for poultry farms associated with the toxicity of fungus.
Conference Dinner and ISAC MeetingThe conference dinner took place on a sightseeing boat cruising the Danube, and it consisted of a four course à la carte menu, accompanied by live music and excellent local wines. The boat cruise showed some of the most important sites of the town including the famous chain bridge, Margaret Island, views of the Royal Palace, the Parliament buildings, and many churches and places of interest along the route. It was a most enjoyable evening offering the possibility of making further contacts and strengthening existing links amongst the delegates.
The International Scientific Advisory Committee met over dinner to discuss how the meeting can be improved when reconvened in 2015. Several potential locations were proposed and will be the subject of further investigation by the Conference Department at WIT.
Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 16 of WIT Transactions on Biomedicine and Health (ISSN: 1746-4485, Digital ISSN 1743-3525). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com
- ECOSUD 2013
- Disaster Management 2013
- Water & Society 2013
- SAFE 2013
- Risk Analysis 2014
- Air Pollution 2014