Recent Research Activities from the EOM Working Groups

Health impacts of anthropogenic biomass burning in the developed world.

Torben Sigsgaard et al., 2015

Climate change policies have stimulated a shift towards renewable energy sources such as biomass. The economic crisis of 2008 has also increased the practice of household biomass burning as it is often cheaper than using oil, gas or electricity for heating. As a result, household biomass combustion is becoming an important source of air pollutants in the European Union.This position paper discusses the contribution of biomass combustion to pollution levels in Europe, and the emerging evidence on the adverse health effects of biomass combustion products.Epidemiological studies in the developed world have documented associations between indoor and outdoor exposure to biomass combustion products and a range of adverse health effects. A conservative estimate of the current contribution of biomass smoke to premature mortality in Europe amounts to at least 40 000 deaths per year.We conclude that emissions from current biomass combustion products negatively affect respiratory and, possibly, cardiovascular health in Europe. Biomass combustion emissions, in contrast to emissions from most other sources of air pollution, are increasing. More needs to be done to further document the health effects of biomass combustion in Europe, and to reduce emissions of harmful biomass combustion products to protect public health.

Sigsgaard T1, Forsberg B2, Annesi-Maesano I3, Blomberg A4, Bølling A5, Boman C6, Bønløkke J7, Brauer M8, Bruce N9, Héroux ME10, Hirvonen MR11, Kelly F12, Künzli N13, Lundbäck B14, Moshammer H15, Noonan C16, Pagels J17, Sallsten G18, Sculier JP19, Brunekreef B20.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Health+impacts+of+anthropogenic+biomass+burning+in+the+developed+world

Clean air in Europe: beyond the horizon?

Brunekreef B, Künzli N, Pekkanen J, Annesi-Maesano I, Forsberg B, Sigsgaard T, Keuken M, Forastiere F, Barry M, Querol X, Harrison RM.

Effects of wood smoke particles from wood-burning stoves on the respiratory health of atopic humans.

Climate change policies have stimulated a shift towards renewable energy sources such as biomass. The economic crisis of 2008 has also increased the practice of household biomass burning as it is often cheaper than using oil, gas or electricity for heating. As a result, household biomass combustion is becoming an important source of air pollutants in the European Union.This position paper discusses the contribution of biomass combustion to pollution levels in Europe, and the emerging evidence on the adverse health effects of biomass combustion products.Epidemiological studies in the developed world have documented associations between indoor and outdoor exposure to biomass combustion products and a range of adverse health effects. A conservative estimate of the current contribution of biomass smoke to premature mortality in Europe amounts to at least 40 000 deaths per year.We conclude that emissions from current biomass combustion products negatively affect respiratory and, possibly, cardiovascular health in Europe. Biomass combustion emissions, in contrast to emissions from most other sources of air pollution, are increasing. More needs to be done to further document the health effects of biomass combustion in Europe, and to reduce emissions of harmful biomass combustion products to protect public health.

Microbial cell wall agents as an occupational hazard.

Organic dusts cause inflammatory reactions in the tissues exposed. The lung and the cells lining the surface of the respiratory tract are a primary target. Many receptors have been shown to react specifically on the presence of microorganisms that are ubiquitous elements in organic dusts. There is a great variability in the individual response to organic dusts. Almost 50% of Caucasians are hyporesponders to LPS exposure, and people with alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency are hyperresponsive to organic dust exposure. The diseases resulting from organic dust exposures include asthma, allergy, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and toxic pneumonitis (organic dust toxic syndrome). This paper deals with inflammation and the subsequent mechanism of disease as it is encountered in industries with these exposures. Toxicological studies including human experimental exposures and ex vivo studies of cells are described. Cellular reactions are mediated through the attachment of, e.g. LPS and beta (1,3)-D-glucan to lipopolysaccharide binding protein, CD14 and Toll-like receptors. The relation between protein release and the gene activation is described. Furthermore, studies of the individual susceptibility will be reviewed

Sigsgaard T, Bonefeld-Jørgensen EC, Hoffmann HJ, Bønløkke J, Krüger T.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2005 Sep 1;207(2 Suppl):310-9. Review 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15992841