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Better health and air quality event in Poland

On 4 December, HEAL in Poland brought together 70 leading health experts, medical institutions and policy-makers to discuss the latest science on air pollution in Poland, and ways to improve the air.

Air pollution remains a major public health problem in Europe and in Poland. It is estimated that in the EU, polluted air causes 400,000 premature deaths each year, and health costs in the range of 330-940 billion EUR. Air pollution is also a major health threat in Poland with 45,000 early deaths. Six Polish cities are among the 10 most polluted locations in Europe. The sources of air pollution in Poland are manifold, however coal combustion in domestic households and in power plants is of particular importance.

The conference entitled “Energy, air pollution and human health: How clean air policy can improve public health in Poland” aimed to raise awareness with health and medical experts, policy-makers and the interested public on the impacts of air pollution on human health, and the economic consequences.

The event was organised in collaboration with the European Medical Students Association and officially endorsed by recognised health institutions and medical associations in Poland, including the National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene; Polish Society of Allergology; Polish Respiratory Society; Polish Society of Environmental Medicine and Federation of Patients suffering from Asthma, Allergy and COPD.

Speakers included Marcin Posobkiewicz, Main Sanitary Inspectorate of Poland Minister, Roman Glaz, Deputy Director of Air Quality Department in the Ministry of Environment, Professor Wiesław Jędrychowski, Collegium Medicum, Yagiellonian University, Professor Krystyna Pawlas, President of Polish Society of Environmental Medicine, Michał Krzyżanowski, PhD., King’s College London and others.

Representatives of local authorities of the Małopolska and Mazowsze regiosn, as well as medical experts and a representative of a Green Institute of Poland took part in a panel debate, moderated by environmental journalist Ewa Podolska (TOK FM). The debate lead to the lively discussion, looking on possible ways to improve air quality in Poland and resulted in a common declaration to build consensus and adopt joint demands with health and medical organisations on the way forward for cleaner air in Poland.

As an outcome of the conference HEAL presented a common position paper on improving public health by reducing air pollution, to be signed both by health experts and individuals. The position is still open for signatures here (PL).

The agenda of the conference is available here.

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Last updated on 18 December 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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