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Benefit-risk assessment of Baltic herring and salmon intake

Main message:
Question:

What are the current individual and population level health benefits and risks of eating Baltic herring and salmon in Finland, Estonia, Denmark and Sweden? How would the health effects change in the future, if consumption of Baltic herring and salmon changes due to actions caused by a) fish consumption recommendations or limitations, b) different management scenarios of Baltic sea fish stocks, or c) selection of fish sizes for human consumption?

Answer:

BONUS GOHERR project (2015-2018) looked at this particular question. A health impact assessment was performed based on fish consumption survey done in the four target countries; EU Fish 2 study about dioxin and PCB concentrations; a dynamic growth model about Baltic herring stock sizes and dioxin accumulation; scientific literature about exposure-response functions of several compounds found in Baltic fish; and online models produced in Opasnet web-workspace.

Dioxin and PCB concentrations have been constantly decreasing in Baltic fish for 40 years, and now they are mostly below EU limits. Also Baltic herring consumption has been decreasing during the last decades and is now a few grams per day, varying between age groups (old people eat more), genders (males eat more) and countries (Estonians eat more and Danes less than others). People reported that better availability of easy products, recipes, and reduced pollutant levels would increase their Baltic herring consumption. In contrast, recommendations to reduce consumption would have little effect on average.

Health benefits of Baltic herring and salmon clearly outweigh health risks in age groups over 45 years. Benefits are higher even in the most sensitive subgroup, women at childbearing age. The balance is close to even, if exceedance of the tolerable daily intake is given weight in the consideration and if other omega-3 sources are given priority over fish. The analysis was robust in a sense that we did not find uncertainties that could remarkably change the conclusions and suggest postponing decisions in hope of new information.

Overall, main arguments from this health assessment and other disciplines studied in Goherr are in favour of getting rid of dioxin-based food restrictions related to Baltic herring and salmon, and promoting human consumption of Baltic fish.

Cost-benefit assessment on composite traffic in Helsinki

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Question:

What are the operational costs, health costs, and carbon dioxide climate costs in a hypothetical situation where a part of private car traffic is replaced by composite traffic in 2005? The part that is replaced varies from 0 to 100 %.

Answer:

  • 45-60% composite fraction is optimal (40-60 % of current private car trips could shift mode to comporiste traffic).
  • Composite traffic reduces health and climate pressures typically by 50-70%.
  • Composite traffic is more attractive to those with long (>= 5 km) trips.
  • Total societal VOI is only 30000 euro/d, which implies robust conclusions.

Decision analysis and risk management 2017/Homework

Main message:
Question:

What are the evaluation criteria for structured discussion (homework 7)?

Answer:

Evaluation of arguments:

  • Each argument is evaluated either A (very good), B (good), or C (irrelevant).
  • When you have written at least one A argument and at least three B arguments, you get grade 2.
  • When you have written at least four B arguments you get grade 1.5.
  • If you have written at least two B arguments you get grade 1.
  • Argument with C is a slight dis-merit and may affect borderline situations.
  • B argument is the default. A arguments differ from B arguments by having
    • an important, unique aspect,
    • good referencing, and/or
    • clever use of hierarchy.

Immigration assessment

Main message:
Question:

This is an open assessment done in collaboration by the ministry of employment and the economy and Yhtakoytta-project. It aims to find actions to better use the local knowledge, networks and know-how of immigrants to help Finnish businesses become more international and increase their exports.

Answer:

The work is only beginning, and no actions have been yet identified. The assessment began in the beginning of March 2016, and by April we hope to have announced about the work widely enough for open participation to start producing ideas and views on the topic. The work will be completed by the end of June.

Binding scientific information production, critique, and use

Question
Answer

Disease burden of air pollution

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Question:

What is the disease burden of fine particles globally?

Answer:

This variable is a summary of two previous assessments, namely Lelieveld et al 2015[1] and Global Burden of disease 2010[2]. Also, this page is a place for discussions about the methods and results of the assessment.

Assessment of the global burden of disease is based on epidemiological cohort studies that connect premature mortality to a wide range of causes, including the long-term health impacts of ozone and fine particulate matter with a diameter smaller than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5). It has proved difficult to quantify premature mortality related to air pollution, notably in regions where air quality is not monitored, and also because the toxicity of particles from various sources may vary. Lelieveld et al use a global atmospheric chemistry model to investigate the link between premature mortality and seven emission source categories in urban and rural environments.

In accord with the Global Burden of Disease 2010 estimate 5.4 million deaths, Lelieveld et al calculate that outdoor air pollution, mostly by PM2.5, leads to 3.3 (95 per cent confidence interval 1.61-4.81) million premature deaths per year worldwide, predominantly in Asia. They primarily assume that all particles are equally toxic, but also include a sensitivity study that accounts for differential toxicity. They find that emissions from residential energy use such as heating and cooking, prevalent in India and China, have the largest impact on premature mortality globally, being even more dominant if carbonaceous particles are assumed to be most toxic. Whereas in much of the USA and in a few other countries emissions from traffic and power generation are important, in eastern USA, Europe, Russia and East Asia agricultural emissions make the largest relative contribution to PM2.5, with the estimate of overall health impact depending on assumptions regarding particle toxicity. Model projections based on a business-as-usual emission scenario indicate that the contribution of outdoor air pollution to premature mortality could double by 2050.

Tendering process for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine

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Question:

Thl logo.png How should vaccine products be compared in the national procurement of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in Finland?

Answer:

In brief, the suggestion is to use vaccine price only, because the two products in the market are very similar in respect to their efficacy and (minimal) side effects.

To answer this question, THL organised an open discussion during summer and early autumn 2014. The outcome of this process was presented to the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in September. The discussion focussed on three topics:

Participation happened in two ways with these instructions:

  1. Write your comments into the comment box at the end of each substance page. Moderator will include it into the text of the page.
  2. Sign in Opasnet and participate by editing the talk pages of any substance page. See instructions for discussion and wiki editing.

You should first browse the pneumococcus assessment pages so that you can give your comments on a right page and check whether your comment has actually been raised already. Comments are not repeated, and irrelevant comments will be removed. All relevant content will stay on the pages. Please note, however, that other participants may try to prove your comments false; if proven false, your comments as such will not be reflected in the final recommendation that is given to NITAG and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Plantlibra deliverable DWP5-6

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Question:

What did Plantlibra project produce as a database interface for risk-benefit assessment of plant food supplements?

Answer:

The present deliverable (DWP5-6) includes the results of Task 5.9 which is aimed at developing an internet based interface where users can access, combine, by plant and compound, and discuss information on risk and benefit assessment. A detailed description of the structure and functioning of the interface is provided in the present document. The Opasnet wiki-based platform (en.opasnet.org) was used to develop the internet based interface, named “Compound Intake Estimator”. It is a tool that allows the use to calculate the intakes of compounds, based on food or food supplement intake. In addition, the tool allows estimating the health risk of a compound at a defined level of intake. The risk estimated is obtained by combining the information on compound concentration in the plant food supplement with the specific health guidance value available for the compound. As health guidance values, the Acceptable Daily Intake or Tolerable Daily Intake are used when available. Otherwise, the Toxicological Threshold of Concern approach is applied. In case of compounds having a structural alert for genotoxicity, the Margin of Exposure concept is instead used. The interface is structured in such a way that the user can select the compound(s) of interest, the extraction technique, and specify the level of intake. In addition, the user can also add his own composition data. This feature is useful in case a user wants to compare the composition of new botanical preparation with data available from literature and evaluate if any of the compounds present might pose, or not, a health concern at a specific level of intake.

Helsinki energy decision 2015

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Question:

Helsinki will make a large energy decision during fall 2015. it will impact energy production for decades. An important decision requires systematic information. How do we guarantee a continuous and sufficient supply of district heat and electricity in Helsinki around the year for the next fifty years in such a way that the impacts on costs, health, climate change, and sustainable growth are as beneficial as possible? How can decentralised energy production and energy efficiency renovations improve the situation? The latter question was asked by the City Council, and another assessment (coordinated by the city of Helsinki and Helen energy company) will answer that soon.

Answer:

National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) performed an open assessment on the Opasnet web-workspace during summer and fall 2015 aiming at shared understanding. We utilised knowledge crystals, i.e. regurlarly updated collaborative online answers to specific research questions. Based on them, we built a model called Sofia to assess impacts and implementability of several different energy options in Helsinki. An assessment report| has been published in Finnish.

Sofia can estimate the building stock and energy consumption based on average energy efficiency, floor area, and ambient temperature. Sofia is an energy balance model that optimises costs of energy production while ensuring the supply of district heating in Helsinki for each day. The situation is followed from 1985 to 2065. Sofia looks also at other heat, fuel, and electric power consumption, but not those of industry and traffic.

Based on balanced energy production Sofia estimates the fuel and other costs and greenhouse gas and fine particle emissions from power plants and other energy processes. The model can assess several scenarios and thus compare the overall impacts of different actions, such as energy renovations or new power plants.

Sofia's main conclusion is that the energy solutions seem to fall into two categories: those that produce electric power as a side stream of district heat, like in Hanasaari coal plant and the suggested Vuosaari C biofuel plant; and those that do not produce or even consume a large amount of electricity, like decentralised biofuel heat plants or sea heat pumps. Based on current discussions, the self-sufficiency of electric power in Helsinki seems to be disappearing and probably changing into a deep dependency of outside electricity. The development of the Nordic electric market determines whether this will be a problem or not in the future.

Unfortunately, the electric market is under strong transition, and for example the wind power tariffes complicate the situation, making future predictions of this crucial issue even more difficult. Local heat production solutions are in a great need of a clear and systematic national electric policy. Otherwise, the previously very efficient combined heat and power production will be replaced with something much less efficient in Finland in the future.

If we forget the question about self-sufficiency of electric power and focus only on district heat, there are several cost-effective solutions available. Excess heat from different processes such as data centres or Neste oil refinery seem to be more cost-effective than e.g. Vuosaari C biofuel plant. Also small and large heat pumps that take heat from the environment are cost-effective. District heat from Loviisa 3 nuclear power plant is also cost-effective in our estimates, but we were not able to fully charaterise uncertainties in the investment cost; and we must remember that the decision to build or not to build the reactor is not in the hands of Helsinki.

A major problem with the process heat solutions is that they consume electric power exactly when the demand for power is the largest and price the highest. We were not able to assess the variability of the price of electricity in this assessment, but it is substantial and might change conclusions. Also for this reason, there is a need for a national energy balance model with hourly resolution including eletricity, industry, and traffic.

Health and climate impacts are important in every single option we looked at, together ranging between a fifth and a fourth of all costs, health and climate comprising a half of that each. Surprisingly, differences between policy options in this respect were small even if the reputation of the climate-friendliness of the options was very different. According to Sofia, this is due to several reasons. All large power plants filter fine particles out very effectively, and therefore there are no large differences in health impacts; a clear exception is small-scale wood burning in houses, which has several times larger health problems than any other option despite its marginal role in energy production. Also, the life cycle emissions of fine particles and greenhouse gases is also important: even if the direct emissions from a heat pump are zero, the electric power imported has produced emissions somewhere. Biofuels are considered climate neutral in emission trade, but they still produce emissions during their life cycle. Therefore, even a fuel switch does not produce the expected results.

Of course, the conclusions based on the model depend on the goodness of the data used. There are several uncertainties that should have been clarified had there been more time to work on the topic. Especially the fuel prices are very difficult to predict into the future. Also the fuel taxes are very high for some fuels but not for others. Effectively, the society decides, using taxes, which solutions make sense on the city level. This is a third reason why there should be a national, long-term, and clear energy policy - and tax policy supporting it - based on detailed, open energy balance modelling the best available information.

Climate change policies and health in Kuopio

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Question:

What are the most beneficial ways from public health point of view to reduce GHG emissions in Kuopio?

Answer:

The target of 40 % GHG reduction seems realistic due to reforms in Haapaniemi power plant, assuming that GHG emissions for wood-based fuel is 0. Life-cycle impacts of the wood-based fuel have not yet been estimated.

Decision analysis and risk management 2015/Homework

Main message:
Question:

What are the evaluation criteria for structured discussion (homework 8)?

Answer:

Evaluation of arguments:

  • Each argument is evaluated either A (very good), B (good), or C (irrelevant).
  • When you have written at least one A argument and at least three B arguments, you get grade 2.
  • When you have written at least four B arguments you get grade 1.5.
  • If you have written at least two B arguments you get grade 1.
  • Argument with C is a slight dis-merit and may affect borderline situations.
  • B argument is the default. A arguments differ from B arguments by having
    • an important, unique aspect,
    • good referencing, and/or
    • clever use of hierarchy.

Benefit-risk assessment on farmed salmon

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Question:

Is the recommendation about not to eat farmed salmon because of its persistent pollutants justifiable based on public health considerations?

Answer:

  • Pollutant risk is much smaller than the net health benefit of farmed salmon
  • Scientific uncertainties related to recommendations are unimportant
  • Some scientific and political uncertainties related to feed limits are important

Fukushima nuclear accident studies

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Question:

What should we as environmental and health scientists do about the Fukushima accidents?

Answer:

There is an urgent need to do technical, environmental, and health studies in, around, and near Fukushima nuclear reactors that were damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The local officials, experts, and researchers are fully tied up with the practical work in helping people, preventing further damages, and cleaning the environment. Therefore, there should be an outside expert task force of Japanese and foreign researcher. This task force is not immediately involved in the emergency actions of the accident, and thus they have capacity to plan, design, and execute sample collection and research in the accident area. There is no time to wait for normal budgetary cycles of institutes, as the research actions must be started now, before the situation is over and signs of exposures have been cleaned up. We ask anyone who has the possibility and capability of participating to sign up. For instructions, see Contributing to Opasnet.

Assessment of the health impacts of H1N1 vaccination

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Question:

What was the overall health impact of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccination in Finland in 2009-2010? Given current knowledge, which was the better decision between vaccinating as happened versus vaccinating no-one versus not vaccinating the population aged 5-19?

Answer:

Given current (2011) knowledge, the decision to vaccinate the whole population was the best decision even when narcolepsy is included in the assessment. Results of the Value of information analysis suggest that further knowledge about the uncertain variables considered very likely would not have changed the decision.

Health impact of radon in Europe

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Question:

Radon gas in homes is a major environmental health hazard causing lung cancer. Good building policies can reduce radon concentrations in indoor air in homes. What are the effects of different plausible building policies on radon in homes and consequently on lung cancer mortality in Europe between 2010 and 2050?

Answer:

There are currently 43000 (95 % CI 7186-104660) lung cancer deaths due to indoor radon in Europe. This number is likely to increase in the future due to decreased ventilation in aim to reduce energy consumption, if other measures are not taken. It is important to maintain good air exchange conditions and proper building insulation even when energy saving measures are taken. More should be known about practical conditions and potential to radon reduction, as well as about the knowledge level, preparedness, and practical hindrances to take such actions by building owners. Value of information analysis shows that this information is so valuable that putting resources in this research is clearly cost-effective. The ultimate aim should be to reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and indoor radon in a cost-effective and synergistic way.

Assessment of building policies' effect on dampness and asthma in Europe

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Question:

Dampness and mould in homes is a major environmental health hazard causing asthma and allergic or respiratory symptoms. Good building policies can reduce dampness in homes. What are the effects of different plausible building policies on dampness in homes and consequently on asthma prevalence in Europe between 2010 and 2050?

Answer:

There are currently 1.7 million (95 % CI 0.8 - 2.9 million) cases of asthma due to indoor dampness in Europe. This number is likely to increase in the future due to decreased ventilation in aim to reduce energy consumption, if other measures are not taken. It is important to maintain good air exchange and humidity conditions even when energy saving measures are taken. More should be known about determinants of dampness-related health problems to be able to design climate-friendly building policies that also reduce dampness in homes.

Decision analysis and risk management 2013/Homework

Main message:
Question:

What are the evaluation criteria for structured discussion (homework 7)?

Answer:

Evaluation of arguments:

  • Each argument is evaluated either A (very good), B (good), or C (irrelevant).
  • When you have written at least one A argument and at least three B arguments, you get grade 2.
  • When you have written at least four B arguments you get grade 1.5.
  • If you have written at least two B arguments you get grade 1.
  • Argument with C is a slight dis-merit and may affect borderline situations.
  • B argument is the default. A arguments differ from B arguments by having
    • an important, unique aspect,
    • good referencing, and/or
    • clever use of hierarchy.

Biofuel assessments

Main message:
Question:

What are the factors that might compromise the acceptance and ecological sustainability of biodiesel production from jatropha plant and wastes generated in fish processing industry ? Particularly, what are the effects of these activities on the environment and the society, and how do they affect the acceptance among clients and public at large?

Answer:

The utilization of the jatropha plant in biodiesel production does not seem quite as promising as that of the fish waste. The same problems with direct and indirect changes in the use of landscape and the competition with food production that have come up with the cultivation of other plants used for bioenergy apply to jatropha as well. The benefit of jatropha is its ability to grow in harsher environments, but in these conditions the oil production of the plant decreases. Fish waste is an unavoidable side product of fish farming, and thus the production of the waste does not cause additional emissions. However, the emissions and effects of fish farming can not be left unnoticed, because the utilization of the waste can also make the primary process more profitable, thus increasing the emissions and effects locally.

Life+

Main message:
Question:

How can you briefly describe the contents of an environment and health decision support application, to be sent to the Life+ call in 2012?

Answer:

National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL, located in Finland) has developed, improved, and applied an online decision support system Opasnet in several previous research projects. The web workspace can collect and store data, compute complex models, perform decision analyses on practical cases, manage discussions between stakeholders, build directly on previous work, and spread conclusions and rationale of decisions to wide audiences. The unique feature of Opasnet is that everything happens openly online, and the technology and behavioural rules keep the work process efficient and on track even when anyone is allowed and encouraged to participate.

Several pilot projects about e.g. drinking water safety, air pollution, infectious diseases, and climate change have demonstrated the technical and practical functionalities of the Opasnet system. However, the main challenge now is to implement the functionalities by large groups of other users than the developers or other researchers. To this aim, this project launches several implementation activities where municipalities and waterworks companies are performing environment and health assessments and related public discussions to guide their own decision making processes. In the beginning, we focus on two distinct topics: to develop Water Safety Plans for waterworks (WSP; this is a task mandated by legislation in the near future), and to develop practical implementation plans of climate change policies by Finnish municipalities that already have a policy paper on this issue. Especially we will pay attention to the interfaces of these two topics, e.g. raw water quality related to climate-change-induced precipitation changes, and connections to other Life+ strategic objectives such as air quality as a factor in climate policies. With these implementation case studies, this project will:

  • a) produce practical guidance and understanding for the participating communities about their own topics of interest;
  • b) produce generic information that can be directly used by any community having a similar problem;
  • c) produce the same relevant generic information translated in English, German, French, and Spanish and distribute it online;
  • d) evaluate the practices and tools of open online collaboration and increase understanding about their challenges;
  • e) improve practices and tools of open online collaboration based on the evaluations;
  • f) open up and support new implementation case studies about water safety and climate change;
  • g) develop models, tools, and data to work on other topics than water and climate as well, such as environmentally friendly urban transportation, and give support to new users of these functionalities.
Main message:
Question:

Millainen on lyhyt kuvaus ympäristön ja terveyden päätöksenteon tukijärjestelmää koskevasta hakemuksesta, joka on tarkoitus jättää Life+-hakuun syyskuussa 2012?

Answer:

Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos (THL) on kehittänyt, parantanut ja soveltanut verkkopohjaista päätöksenteon tukijärjestelmää Opasnetiä useissa aiemmissa tutkimushankkeissa. Tämä verkkotyötila voi kerätä ja tallentaa dataa, laskea monimutkaisia malleja, suorittaa päätösanalyyseja käytännöllisistä tapauksista, hallita sidosryhmien välistä keskustelua aiheesta, rakentaa suoraan aiemman työn varaan ja levittää päätösten päätelmiä ja perusteluja laajan yleisön tietoon. Opasnetin ainutlaatuinen piirre on, että kaikki tapahtuu verkossa avoimesti, ja teknologia sekä käyttäytymissäännöt pitävät työskentelyn tehokkaana ja raiteillaan vaikka kenen tahansa sallitaan ja toivotaankin osallistuvan työhön.

Useat aiemmat pilottihankkeet esimerkiksi juomaveden turvallisuudesta, ilmansaasteista, infektiotaudeista ja ilmastonmuutoksesta ovat osoittaneet Opasnet-järjestelmän teknisen ja käytännöllisen toimintakyvyn. Kuitenkin tämän hetken haaste on soveltaa järjestelmän toiminnallisuuksia tilanteissa, joissa on useita ja laajoja käyttäjäryhmiä kehittäjien ja muiden tutkijoiden joukon ulkopuolelta. Tämän saavuttamiseksi käynnistamme useita sovellushankkeita, joissa kunnat ja vesilaitokset tekevät ympäristö- ja terveysarviointeja ja käyvät julkista keskustelua sidosryhmien kanssa oman päätöksentekonsa tueksi. Aluksi keskitymme kahteen aiheeseen: kehittämään vesilaitoksille veden turvallisuussuunnitelmia (Water Safety Plan WSP, joka joka tulee aikanaan lainsäädännön kautta laadittavaksi), ja kehittämään käytännöllisiä toteutussuunnitelmia ilmastopoliittisille ohjelmille sellaisissa kunnissa, joilla tällainen ohjelma jo on ja jotka ovat siihen sitoutuneet. Erityisesti tarkastellaan myös näiden kahden aihepiirin yhtymäkohtia, esimerkiksi ilmastonmuutoksen aiheuttamien sadantamuutosten vaikutusta raakavesiin, ja yhtymäkohtia Life+-ohjelman muihin strategisiin tavoitteisiin kuten ilmanlaadun yhteyttä ilmastopolitiikkoihin. Näiden sovellushankkeiden avulla tämä hanke

  • a) tuottaa käytännön ohjeistusta ja ymmärrystä osallistuville yhteisöille heille itselleen tärkeästä aiheesta;
  • b) tuottaa yleistettävää tietoa, jota mikä tahansa kunta voi suoraan hyödyntää samanlaisen ongelmansa käsittelyyn;
  • c) tuottaa samaa merkittävää tietoa käännettynä englanniksi, saksaksi, ranskaksi ja espanjaksi ja jakaa sen avoimesti verkossa;
  • d) evaluoi avoimen verkkoyhteistyön käytäntöjä ja työkaluja ja lisää ymmärrystä niiden haasteista;
  • e) parantaa avoimen verkkoyhteistyön käytäntöjä ja työkaluja näiden evaluointien perusteella;
  • f) avaa ja tukee uusia sovellushankkeita vesiturvallisuudesta ja ilmastonmuutoksesta;
  • g) kehittää malleja, työkaluja ja dataa avuksi muiden kuin vesi- ja ilmastoaiheiden työstämiseen, kuten ympäristöystävälliseen kaupunkiliikenteeseen liittyen, ja tukee uusia käyttäjiä näiden toiminnallisuuksien käyttämisessä.

Societal Wellbeing

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Question:

what are the important areas to Societal Well-being ?

Answer:

measurement of social, economic and environmental dimensions is way to develop the concern of social well-being.

Estimating disability-adjusted life years

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Question:

What is Disability Adjusted Life Years?

Answer:

The Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY) has emerged in the international health policy lexicon as a new measure of "burden of Disease". The conceptual framework for DALY is described and justified in a recent paper "Quantifying the burden of disease: the technical basis for disability-adjusted life years"

Health impact modelling: ultraviolet radiation and melanoma skin cancer

Main message:
Question:

What was the overall health impact of exposures to ultra-violet radiation (UVR) under different climate change scenarios?

Answer:

Given current knowledge, The assessment considered two sets of scenarios for the years 2030 and 2050: the IPCC SRES B1 scenario and SRES A2 scenario.Results suggest that further knowledge about the uncertain variables considered very likely would not have changed the decision

Macroeconomics

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Question:

What is Macro economic Model? How to use this method in practice?

Answer:

given current knowledge, Macroeconomics is the study of the behavior of the economy as a whole. It examines the forces that affect many firm, consumer and workers at the same time.

Usability of Mediawiki as a collaborative workspace for knowledge creation

Main message:
Question:

How do the various collaborative elements of Opasnet wiki support knowledge creation?

Answer:


Benefit-risk assessment of methyl mercury and omega-3 fatty acids in fish

Main message:
Question:

What are the effects of methyl mercury and omega-3 fatty acids on development of intelligence quotient (IQ) in children? The source of exposure is Finnish fish consumption.

Answer:

  • The consumption of oily fish can be increased without a fear of detrimental effects of methyl mercury in the children. In contrast, the consumption of predator fish, especially pike, should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • The case seems to be fairly well established, as the total value of additional information is fairly low.

Should I take iodine tablets?

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Question:

Should I take iodine tablets because of radioactive emissions from the Fukushima nuclear accident?

Answer:

Most likely you should not take iodine. It is recommended only to a part of those people who have been within 20 km from Fukushima since the accident. For all others, there is no benefit from iodine tablets.

Health impacts of urban heat island mitigation in Europe

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Question:

What are the current and future health impacts of heat exposure in large European cities? How much could these impacts be reduced by measures aimed at mitigating the urban heat island (UHI) effect?

Answer:

Currently, almost 15 000 annual deaths are attributable to summertime heat exposure in densely populated metropolitan areas within the 23 European countries included in the assessment. The number of heat related deaths is likely to increase drastically (by 270-460% depending on the climate scenario) during the next 40 years as climate becomes warmer and the population ages. By 2050, mitigation of UHI in the cities by increasing vegetation and surface albedo could potentially result in thousands of averted premature deaths annually.

Comparative risk assessment of dioxin and fine particles

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Question:

How large are fine particle risks from heavy-duty traffic, and dioxin risk due to fish consumption in Helsinki metropolitan area? How can the EU-legislation for these stressors promote the public health?

Answer:

Fine particle risk clearly outweigh the dioxin risk. By stricter emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles, approximately 30 annual premature deaths can be avoided in Helsinki (1000000 inhabitants). By banning fish species (salmon, herring) containing dioxin above the EU-limit concentration, the net health effect would turn out to be negative, thanks to beneficial omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.

Environmental health impact assessment of bottled water consumption in Europe

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Question:

What magnitude are the health effects of energy production required to support current levels of bottled water consumption in Europe, and how might this be affected by different consumption scenarios?

Answer:

  • To be assessed...
  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named lelieveld
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