Rainer Sauerborn

Abstracts

4 Indoor Air Pollution and Reduced Lung Function in Biomass Exposed Women: A Cross Sectional Study in Pune District, India

Authors: Gufran Beig, Rainer Sauerborn, Rasmila Kawan, Sanjay Juvekar, Sandeep Salvi

Abstract:

Background: Indoor air pollution especially from the use of biomass fuels, remains a potentially large global health threat. The inefficient use of such fuels in poorly ventilated conditions results in high levels of indoor air pollution, most seriously affecting women and young children. Objectives: The main aim of this study was to measure and compare the lung function of the women exposed in the biomass fuels and LPG fuels and relate it to the indoor emission measured using a structured questionnaire, spirometer and filter based low volume samplers respectively. Methodology: This cross-sectional comparative study was conducted among the women (aged > 18 years) living in rural villages of Pune district who were not diagnosed of chronic pulmonary diseases or any other respiratory diseases and using biomass fuels or LPG for cooking for a minimum period of 5 years or more. Data collection was done from April to June 2017 in dry season. Spirometer was performed using the portable, battery-operated ultrasound Easy One spirometer (Spiro bank II, NDD Medical Technologies, Zurich, Switzerland) to determine the lung function over Forced expiratory volume. The primary outcome variable was forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1). Secondary outcome was chronic obstruction pulmonary disease (post bronchodilator FEV1/ Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) < 70%) as defined by the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease. Potential confounders such as age, height, weight, smoking history, occupation, educational status were considered. Results: Preliminary results showed that the lung function of the women using Biomass fuels (FEV1/FVC = 85% ± 5.13) had comparatively reduced lung function than the LPG users (FEV1/FVC = 86.40% ± 5.32). The mean PM 2.5 mass concentration in the biomass user’s kitchen was 274.34 ± 314.90 and 85.04 ± 97.82 in the LPG user’s kitchen. Black carbon amount was found higher in the biomass users (black carbon = 46.71 ± 46.59 µg/m³) than LPG users (black carbon=11.08 ± 22.97 µg/m³). Most of the houses used separate kitchen. Almost all the houses that used the clean fuel like LPG had minimum amount of the particulate matter 2.5 which might be due to the background pollution and cross ventilation from the houses using biomass fuels. Conclusions: Therefore, there is an urgent need to adopt various strategies to improve indoor air quality. There is a lacking of current state of climate active pollutants emission from different stove designs and identify major deficiencies that need to be tackled. Moreover, the advancement in research tools, measuring technique in particular, is critical for researchers in developing countries to improve their capability to study the emissions for addressing the growing climate change and public health concerns.

Keywords: Particulate Matter, indoor air pollution, biomass fuels, black carbon, lung function

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3 Climate Change and Health in Policies

Authors: Niamh Herlihy, Rainer Sauerborn, Anneliese Depoux, Corinne Kowalski, Lea de Jong, Jale Tosun

Abstract:

Climate change is considered one of the biggest threats to human health of the 21st century. The link between climate change and health has received relatively little attention in the media, in research and in policy-making. A long term and broad overview of how health is represented in the legislation on climate change is missing in the legislative literature. It is unknown if or how the argument for health is referred in legal clauses addressing climate change, in national and European legislation. Integrating scientific based evidence into policies regarding the impacts of climate change on health could be a key step to inciting the political and societal changes necessary to decelerate global warming. This may also drive the implementation of new strategies to mitigate the consequences on health systems. To provide an overview of this issue, we are analyzing the Global Climate Legislation Database provided by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. This institution was established in 2008 at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The database consists of (updated as of 1st January 2015) legislations on climate change in 99 countries around the world. This tool offers relevant information about the state of climate related policies. We will use the database to systematically analyze the 829 identified legislations to identify how health is represented as a relevant aspect of climate change legislation. We are conducting explorative research of national and supranational legislations and anticipate health to be addressed in various forms. The goal is to highlight how often, in what specific terms, which aspects of health or health risks of climate change are mentioned in various legislations. The position and recurrence of the mention of health is also of importance. Data will be extracted with complete quotation of the sentence which mentions health, which will allow for second qualitative stage to analyze which aspects of health are represented and in what context. This study is part of an interdisciplinary project called 4CHealth that confronts results of the research done on scientific, political and press literature to better understand how the knowledge on climate change and health circulates within those different fields and whether and how it is translated to real world change.

Keywords: Climate Change, Health, Policies, explorative research

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2 Review of Published Articles on Climate Change and Health in Two Francophone Newspapers: 1990-2015

Authors: Rainer Sauerborn, Avner Bar-Hen, Stefanie Schütte, Mathieu Hemono, Sophie Puig-Malet, Patrick Zylberman, Niamh Herlihi, Antoine Flahault et Anneliese Depoux

Abstract:

Since the IPCC released its first report in 1990, an increasing number of peer-reviewed publications have reported the health risks associated with climate change. Although there is a large body of evidence supporting the association between climate change and poor health outcomes, the media is inconsistent in the attention it pays to the subject matter. This study aims to analyze the modalities and rhetoric in the media concerning the impact of climate change on health in order to better understand its role in information dissemination. A review was conducted of articles published between 1990 and 2015 in the francophone newspapers Le Monde and Jeune Afrique. A detailed search strategy including specific climate and health terminology was used to search the newspapers’ online databases. 1202 articles were identified as having referenced the terms climate change and health. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied to narrow the search to articles referencing the effects of climate change on human health and 160 articles were included in the final analysis. Data was extracted and categorized to create a structured database allowing for further investigation and analysis. The review indicated that although 66% of the selected newspaper articles reference scientific evidence of the impact of climate change on human health, the focus on the topic is limited major political events or is circumstances relating to public health crises. Main findings also include that among the many direct and indirect health outcomes, infectious diseases are the main health outcome highlighted in association with climate change. Lastly, the articles suggest that while developed countries have caused most of the greenhouse effect, the global south is more immediately affected. Overall, the reviewed articles reinforce the need for international cooperation in finding a solution to mitigate the effects of climate change on health. The manner in which scientific results are communicated and disseminated, impact individual and collective perceptions of the topic in the public sphere and affect political will to shape policy. The results of this analysis will underline the modalities of the rhetoric of transparency and provide the basis for a perception study of media discourses. This study is part of an interdisciplinary project called 4CHealth that confronts results of the research done on scientific, political and press literature to better understand how the knowledge on climate changes and health circulates within those different fields and whether and how it is translated to real world change.

Keywords: Climate Change, Communication, Media, Health, Rhetoric, Africa, awareness, global south, health impacts

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1 Climate Change and Health: Scoping Review of Scientific Literature 1990-2015

Authors: Niamh Herlihy, Helen Fischer, Rainer Sauerborn, Anneliese Depoux, Avner Bar-Hen, Antoine Flauhault, Stefanie Schütte

Abstract:

In the recent decades, there has been an increase in the number of publications both in the scientific and grey literature on the potential health risks associated with climate change. Though interest in climate change and health is growing, there are still many gaps to adequately assess our future health needs in a warmer world. Generating a greater understanding of the health impacts of climate change could be a key step in inciting the changes necessary to decelerate global warming and to target new strategies to mitigate the consequences on health systems. A long term and broad overview of existing scientific literature in the field of climate change and health is currently missing in order to ensure that all priority areas are being adequately addressed. We conducted a scoping review of published peer-reviewed literature on climate change and health from two large databases, PubMed and Web of Science, between 1990 and 2015. A scoping review allowed for a broad analysis of this complex topic on a meta-level as opposed to a thematically refined literature review. A detailed search strategy including specific climate and health terminology was used to search the two databases. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied in order to capture the most relevant literature on the human health impact of climate change within the chosen timeframe. Two reviewers screened the papers independently and any differences arising were resolved by a third party. Data was extracted, categorized and coded both manually and using R software. Analytics and infographics were developed from results. There were 7269 articles identified between the two databases following the removal of duplicates. After screening of the articles by both reviewers 3751 were included. As expected, preliminary results indicate that the number of publications on the topic has increased over time. Geographically, the majority of publications address the impact of climate change and health in Europe and North America, This is particularly alarming given that countries in the Global South will bear the greatest health burden. Concerning health outcomes, infectious diseases, particularly dengue fever and other mosquito transmitted infections are the most frequently cited. We highlight research gaps in certain areas e.g climate migration and mental health issues. We are developing a database of the identified climate change and health publications and are compiling a report for publication and dissemination of the findings. As health is a major co-beneficiary to climate change mitigation strategies, our results may serve as a useful source of information for research funders and investors when considering future research needs as well as the cost-effectiveness of climate change strategies. This study is part of an interdisciplinary project called 4CHealth that confronts results of the research done on scientific, political and press literature to better understand how the knowledge on climate change and health circulates within those different fields and whether and how it is translated to real world change.

Keywords: Climate Change, Health, Mapping, review

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