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HEAL participates in World Spirometry day

HEAL in Poland highlighted why air quality is important for lung health, and encouraged patients to take part in a free Spirometry test as part of World Spirometry Day.

World Spirometry Day (SDS) is organised every two years with the first edition taking place in 2010. Spirometry is a non-invasive examination necessary for diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), insidious and deadly disease associated with smoking and exposure to other toxic dusts and gases, including air pollution.

This year’s theme was ‘Breathe clean air’ to raise awareness of European citizens of the science on air pollution and the harm for our health, particularly for the respiratory system.

At the European level, HEAL members European Respiratory Society (ERS) and the European Lung Foundation (ELF) organised the day and in Poland, the main coordinator was the Polish Federation of Allergy Asthma and COPD. To support this year’s theme, ERS and ELF launched their ‘Healthy Lungs for Life campaign’, one of the largest ever lung health campaigns, to raise awareness of the importance of healthy lungs to health professionals, health groups, civil society and policy makers. The initiative was officially launched at International Congress of ERS in Munich from 6 – 10 September.

Air pollution is of particular concern in Poland, where six of the ten most polluted major cities in Europe are located; and where; and about 45,000 people die prematurely because of it. Therefore HEAL in Poland made sure it was actively involved in activities taking place across the country by taking part in a press conference on the day preceding the opening of the campaign, as well as providing materials about air pollution, its sources and health risks to all the institutions involved in the event.

Over the past four years, more than 30,000 people across Poland were examined during Spirometry Days. Out of this number, up to 15 percent had abnormal spirometry results and received a letter to a doctor to diagnose them with COPD or asthma.

More information on the ‘Healthy Lungs for Life campaign’ is available on a specially launched website.

Originally posted on 25 September 2014

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

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