SPH Brown Bag Research Presentation: Source of the largest environmental health risk globally: Recent policy approaches in India and China

Seminar | October 25 | 12-1 p.m. | 5101 Berkeley Way West

 Kirk Smith, Professor, Global Environmental Health, School of Public Health

 Public Health, School of

The air pollution from use of biomass and coal fuels in poor households around the world has been identified by WHO as the largest single environmental health risk globally.  Along with ambient air pollution, it is responsible for as much or more ill-health as any other risk factor except malnutrition in LMICs, far more than smoking. 

Dr. Smith will discuss his current work bringing the latest scientific evidence into the national policies of China and India. Both countries have embarked on major policy initiatives that promise to bring clean fuels to hundreds of millions of poor households in the next three years, which should not only improve the health of the poor, but also help stem the high levels of ambient air pollution that affect both these parts of the world.

Professor Smith has conducted field research on air pollution, both ambient and in households, in more than 20 countries of Asia and Latin America, including the first randomized controlled trial in air pollution history. He participated, along with many other scientists, in the IPCC’s 3rd and 4th assessments for which he shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and was Convening Lead Author for Climate and Health for the 5th Assessment. He holds visiting professorships in India and China. In 1997, he was elected as a member in the US National Academy of Sciences. In 2009, he received the Heinz Prize in Environment; in 2012 he was awarded the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. He has served on the Global Energy Assessment, National Research Council’s Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate, the Executive Committee for WHO Air Quality Guidelines, the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, and the International Comparative Risk Assessment of the Global Burden of Disease Project.

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