Early Morning Sessions

Submission Number: 9


Title: Bridging Implementation Science and Health Equity to Mitigate Climate Change Impacts


Prof. Margaret Handley1,2, Dr Lisa  Thompson3, Dr.  Neeta  Thakur1,2, Dr. Lindsey Ann  Martin4

1University Of California San Francisco, San Francisco, United States of America, 2PRISE Center, UCSF , San Francisco, United States, 3Emory University , Druid Hills , United State, 4NIEHS, Bethesda , United States


The relentless and variable ways in which climate change is driving health risks globally is overwhelming. Health adaptation efforts, which encompass policies, programs, and interventions, aim to reduce the health risks associated with climate change. Adaptation approaches build on public health activities and strengthen climate risk prevention strategies that target system, community, and individual-level factors. There are many effective, evidence-based adaptation strategies that can be promoted through public health interventions, such as urban greening, recycling, and green transportation. These interventions require behavior changes at the neighborhood, city and regional level, and benefit from tailoring to meet the needs of diverse communities across the globe.

While there is much we can do in  public health practice to address climate change, we are not implementing these efforts effectively and equitably. Evidence-based and theory-informed approaches to adapting interventions to local conditions are key elements of the emergent field of implementation science (IS). Development of adapted interventions and implementation of them has been uneven when they have been proposed, constrained by limited capacity, inadequate local and regional ‘buy-in’, and poor tailoring to local context. A critical flaw is the imprecise estimates about the effectiveness of adapted interventions when they are transferred to a new context. A greater focus on adaptation and equity is needed, especially in low-resource settings, where increasing exposure to climatic hazards and growing numbers of vulnerable people and locations is widening disparities.

We present: (1) key principles of IS relevant to climate change interventions, and discuss case studies incorporating IS approaches into climate change initiatives. The first case study focuses on community-initiated solutions to reduce plastic waste burning and improve human health effects in rural Guatemala. The second focuses on engaging community stakeholders in vulnerable neighborhoods in San Francisco in research planning to identify acceptable interventions to mitigate negative health impacts.

Submission Number: 11


Title: Actionable insights from Environmental Health Practice: bridging the gap between research to practice

Dr. Yulia Carroll1

1Division For Env Health Science And Practice, Cdc, Atlanta, United States of America


Environmental and climate health related diseases have been on the rise especially in the context of environmental justice and health equity. We propose 4 talks which highlight the practical application of current environmental public health epidemiology to implementing interventions and strategies for building resilience in communities disproportionately affected by climate change. 

In this session we will present on how respiratory health diseases have changed over time and location, in the context of health equity. We will then elaborate in detail on the prevalence of current asthma and related health outcomes among US children’s (0-17 years) rural versus urban areas; and will present epidemiologically successful asthma quality improvement initiatives. Similarly, we will explore Legionnaire’s disease as an example of an unrecognized environmentally linked infectious disease that is on the rise and provide prevention strategies. We will conclude with examples of using environmental epidemiology to apply knowledge from health effects assessments of exposures to wildfire smoke, drought-related conditions, and extreme heat, to implement successful interventions, build resilience, and increase community adaptation.

This session will empower attendees with new approaches to bridging environmental health data science to practice. By linking individually relevant environmental health data within the community served by the clinical providers will help improve patients’ outcomes. From an academic or public health perspective, this collection of talks will empower the attendee to use environmental public health data to better understand the observed patterns of environmental health outcomes and interventions within their local jurisdictions so that they can then work to empower locally relevant interventions.

Submission Number: 24


Title: Nitrate-Contaminated Drinking Water: A widespread health threat and some potential solutions     


Dr. Ronnie Levin1, Dr Mary Ward2, Darya Minovi3, Erik  Olson4, Dr Birgitte Hansen5

1Harvard School Of Public Health, Boston, United States, 2NCI/NIH , Bethesda, USA, 3Center for Progressive Reform, Washington, USA, 4Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, USA, 5Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland , Copenhagen, Denmark


Nitrates occur naturally in some foods and are used in fertilizers and as food additives to stop the growth of bacteria and to enhance the flavor and color of foods.  Nitrates are also toxic at high levels.  Nitrate violations of drinking water standards are among the most common health-based infractions under the US Safe Drinking Water Act, and are likely to increase due to population growth, increasing sewage management problems, higher nitrogen fertilizer use, and more pollution from industrial livestock production. We will present both the state of the science on health effects and exposures, as well as potential remediation under policy changes such as those instituted in Denmark.  Finally, we will discuss the limitations of the US Safe Drinking Water Act to control nitrate exposures in the US.

The symposium is designed to juxtapose the human environmental health science and related policy implications, including successful policy changes in Denmark and cascading problems in the US.  The timing is good:  climate change will drive a transformation of both agricultural practices and policies.  Beginning this discussion now is crucial.

Submission Number: 31


Title: Ethical issues and bias in scientific publishing: What to look out for and how to address bias in the publication process


Dr. Sabah Quraishi1, Dr. Joan Casey2

1Environmental Health Perspectives, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, USA, 2Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, New York, USA


The peer-review process in scientific publishing endeavors to increase the quality of scientific manuscripts, and surveys by the Nature Publishing Group indicated that 90% of scientists felt peer review improved their work. Still, biases in scientific publishing can impact the research being evaluated and the results of the peer-review process. This morning session will feature a discussion with a journal editor, a faculty member, and an early career researcher on types of bias in scientific publishing. This session will provide an overview of implicit bias, confirmation bias, spin bias (e.g., cherry-picking), and hot stuff bias. In practice it can be difficult to identify potential biases; therefore, we will use case studies to help guide this discussion. We will discuss potential approaches to preventing bias and pros/cons of certain solutions. We will also review the editorial process and specific biases on the part of editor, reviewer, and author can impact a manuscript, and how we, as a research community, can work to reduce bias.  

Submission Number: 56


Title: The participation of family groups and young people for the strengthening and application of environmental epidemiology. Report of Brazilian families


Dr. Telma  Cassia dos Santos Nery1, R. A. Christensen2, Ana Leticia Melquiades  Santos3, Daniel N Cardoso4, Student Sofia Helena  Oliveira5, Mr Ivan N Cardoso6, Student Marina  Ribeiro7, Student Sarah  Oliveira8, Mr Adriano Rawa Melquiades9

1Divisao de Pneumologia Incor Hcfmusp, São Paulo, Brazil, 2Superintendencia de Controle de Endemias SUCEN, São Paulo, Brazil, 3University Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, USA, 4Great Circle , , USA, 5Universidade Estadual Campinas – UNICAMP, Campinas, Brazil, 6Porco Espinho site – edit, São Paulo, Brazil, 7Faculdade Direito USP, São Paulo, Brazil, 8ETESP, São Paulo, Brazil, 9Autonomous, Joao Pessoa, Brazil


Environmental health needs to be diffused in various environments. The development of activities, encouragement to study, seek information and participate in research by young people are fundamental to a global activity. This morning session seeks to discuss how family relationships, with discussions taking place between relatives, can be an encouraging force. Students from different areas will be participating: economics, law, technical course in the environment and even young professionals from the areas of medicine, biology, writers, lawyers, who throughout their lives discussed at home, at school and in today’s practices the factors: climate change , impacts of chemicals on the planet and environmental health. These practices include and have influenced the various groups of families that today work in specific countries and locations.

Submission Number: 201


Title: Civic engagement at ISEE: ramping up our efforts for impactful research


Dr. Audrey J de Nazelle1, Dr. Zorana Andersen2, Dr. Charlie Roscoe3, Dr. Aina Roca Barcelo1, Dr. Gudrun Weinmayr4, Dr. Mildred Maisonet5, Dr. Adetoun Mustapha6, Dr. Agnes Soares7, Dr. Hanna Boogaard8, Dr. Barbara Hoffmann9, Dr. Maria Elisa Quinteros Caceres10, Dr. Pallavi Pant11, Dr. Jien-Wen Chien12, Dr. Keren Agay-Shay13, Dr. Devon Payne Sturges14, Dr. Sophie Perroud15

1Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom , 2Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, , Denmark, 3Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, , United States of America, 4Ulm University, Ulm, , Germany, 5East Tennessee University, Johnson City, , United States of America, 6Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, , Nigeria, 7Pan American Health Organization, Washington D.C., DC, , United States of America, 8Health Effects Institute, Boston, MA, , United States of America, 9Institute for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Medical School, Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, , Germany, 10Public Health Department at University of Talca, , Chile, 11Health Effects Institute and Deputy Director, ISEE PEP Program, , , 12Chuanhua Christian Children’s Hospital, , Taiwan, 13Health and Environment Research (HER) Lab in the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine at Bar-Ilan University (BIU), , Israel, 14Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, , United States, 15Health & Environment Alliance (HEAL),


So much effort goes into producing excellent research, but we often wonder – to what avail? How often is our work picked up by decision makers and does it lead to transformative environmental policies or actions? Many of us at ISEE are driven by a desire to make the world a healthier place, and have chosen research as our tool, but we lack the ability and time to fully exploit its full potential and have the impact we would hope for. This early morning session, organized by the ISEE policy committee, aims to demonstrate means of successful policy and civic engagement to step up efforts for impactful research. Through a series of examples of scientists achieving successful outcomes in different regions of the world, we will explore what advocacy entails: what works, what doesn’t, and how we can ramp up our civic engagement as a Society and as individual researchers. Our focus will be on air pollution, given the extensive research on this exposure within ISEE and the important air pollution policy decisions anticipated, globally, in the near future. We will also discuss the importance of alliances across sectors and topics, such as climate change and environmental justice, and lessons learned in this session will be applicable beyond air pollution. Six talks (8 minutes each) covering examples from all ISEE regions will be followed by a panel discussion and audience participation to get us energized and organized for the next steps of ISEE advocacy. Speakers will be joined by panellists Pallavi Pant (Senior Scientist at Health Effects Institute, Deputy Director, ISEE PEP Program), Barabara Hoffmann (professor of environmental epidemiology at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany)  and Simon Birkett (founder of the Clean Air in London campaign) to give additional insights in advocacy and engage the audience into discussing next steps.

Submission Number: 1530


Title: Air Pollution and Health: The Case of Central and Southeast Europe


Dr. Pallavi Pant1, Dr. Zorana  Andersen2, Dr. Tamara  Schikowski7, Dr. Angel Dzambhov3, Dr. Nataša  Dragić4, Dr. Artur  Badyda5, Dr. Anna Karakatsani6

1Health Effects Institute, Boston, United States of America, 2University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 3Medical University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 4University of Novi Sad, Serbia, 5Warsaw University of Technology, Poland, 6National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, 7IUF-Leibniz Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Duesseldorf , Germany


Most of the population across Central and Southeast Europe live in areas where air quality is poor, and in many countries, the annual EU Air Quality Limit Values as well as the World Health Organization guidelines for PM2.5 are exceeded. However, the discourse related to air pollution has remained focused on issues most pertinent for countries in Western Europe, and there has been insufficient attention to the research and policy needs in this region. As air quality data has become more accessible, public attention on the issue has increased across the region. At the same time, significant gaps remain with respect to the body of evidence on epidemiological literature. There are very few studies on the effects of long-term exposure to air pollution and the field of environmental epidemiology remains nascent. This symposium proposes to examine the status of current epidemiological evidence on the health effects of air pollution in the region and identify opportunities for research and collaboration. Speakers will use regional and national case studies to discuss the types of epidemiological evidence available and necessary for informing policies in this region.

Submission Number: 1791

Title: A panel discussion of challenges of air pollution and COVID-19 research in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy1, Dr. Myriam Mrad2, Dr. Ali Al-Hemoud3, Dr. Kenza Khomsi4,5, Dr. Fayez Abdulla6

1University of California San Diego, United States of America, 2University of Balamand, Lebanon, 3Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait, 4Mohammed VI University for Health Sciences, Morocco, 5Moroccan Meteorological Directorate, Morocco, 6Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on health of populations around the globe. The Eastern Mediterranean (EM) region has one of the highest number of cases and deaths from COVID-19. There is an interchanging relationship between COVID-19 health impacts and air pollution and climate at the global level, but more specifically in the EM. There is limited understanding of the impacts of climate and air pollution on the spread of climate change. The lockdown had adverse mental health impacts on mothers and children. On the other hand, COVID-19 had some benefits in terms of limited transportation and lower air pollution as a result of the lockdown in many countries. This led to health gains and benefits in terms of lower morbidity from air pollution. In this symposium we present a discussion of a range of challenges that studies from across the region in Lebanon, Morocco, Kuwait and Jordan face when doing this research in terms of data access, methodological approach, resources, and measurement of air pollution. Each panelist will provide a synopsis of their study and the challenge they faced, and then we will open it for discussion with the audience on possible solutions to overcome these logistical and methodological challenges in conducting research in this field in the EM. This is the first of its kind discussion of what this highly polluted region face in terms of research and policies and interpretation of air pollution, with a special focus on the COVID-19 pandemic association with air pollution.