News in 2016

DECEMBER:Thunderstorm Asthma

December 2016, Special Seminar
Prof. Guy Marks “Thunderstorm Asthma”

This special webinar was presented by the Centre of Excellence in Severe Asthma is in response to the thunderstorm that hit Melbourne during the afternoon of 21st November 2016.

DECEMBER: Special seminar presentation on Thunderstorm Asthma by Prof Guy Marks

NOVEMBER:Thunderstorm Asthma

Article by Prof Guy Marks on "It's not just about Melbourne: Why we need a national approach to thunderstorm asthma"

NOVEMBER: Article on Thunderstorm Asthma in The Conversation by Prof Guy Marks

NOVEMBER: ISEE 2017 Conference Announced

Save the Dates: International Society of Environmental Epidemiology Conference 2017

Invitation from the Conference Chair

The 29th Annual Scientific Conference of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology will be held in Sydney, Australia, from 24-28 September 2017.

ISEE17 is co-sponsored by the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and The University of Sydney. The venue is the new Law School at The University of Sydney. The University campus is conveniently located to Sydney's central business district and public transport.

The overall theme of the ISEE17 conference is "Healthy places, healthy people – where are the connections?" Implicit in this theme is the recognition that there are many different places (the natural environment, the built environment, the social environment) and many different people (the young, the old, the disadvantaged and the marginalised). The 'connections' may be physical, or they may be psychological, social or political.

We want to challenge existing paradigms and entice and invite participants to ask important questions about environmental justice and the politics of social change and empowerment. Keynote speakers will be tasked with posing these questions to conference participants.

Australia sits firmly in the Asia-Pacific region. Therefore, ISEE17 will specifically address healthy places and healthy people connections in the Asia-Pacific region.

Apart from contributions connected to the main conference theme, ISEE17 also welcomes the increasingly rich and diverse oral and poster presentations, symposia and workshops in both the ‘old’ and ‘new’ environment health – including air and water pollution, contaminated lands, endocrine disrupters, climate change, built environment, food and water security.

On behalf of the Local Organising Committee, I look forward to sharing with you our city and our people. See you all "down under"!!

Professor Bin Jalaludin

Chair, ISEE17 Local Organising Committee
Director, Epidemiology, Healthy People and Places Unit
South Western Sydney Local Health District; and
School of Public Health and Community Medicine
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia


Due: 23 February 2017
Symposia and Pre-conference Workshop Proposals

Due: 23 March 2017
Oral and Poster Abstracts

Due: 29 April 2017
ISEE Award Nominations

SEPTEMBER: CAR Seed Funding 2016 Announced

Seed grants were awarded this year to five high calibre research projects from a variety of institutions.

JUNE: CAR postdoctoral position now open for 2016 round

CAR are seeking applicants for a postdoctoral applications investigating the effects of long term air pollution exposure on health. CAR investigators already have access to several cohorts that could form the basis of such an application, but cohorts not already part of the CAR research program will also be considered. The desirable skills and experience for such an applicant include: the use of routinely collected linked health data for epidemiological studies; data management and analysis of large data sets from various sources; population wide small area level exposure assessment; high level statistical skills and GIS skills.
Fellowship funding is available for 12 months with possible extension; the fellowship is available for an immediate start.

Further information here

You will need to email for an application form

Applications close Friday 5th of August

APRIL: Dr Cowie interviewed about her latest report on PM

Dr Christine Cowie a CAR Post doctoral fellow was recently interviewed on ABC AM radio show about her report on particulate matter

Click on the link below to hear the interview;

Click here for the full report

CAR CRE Annual Symposium 5th of May 2016, 'Cleaner Air, Better Health' A call for abstracts and symposium information

The Centre for Air quality and health Research evaluation will be hosting its annual symposium at:
Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Glebe, Sydney
Thursday 5th of May
9.30am to 4.00pm

This years theme is 'Cleaner Air, Better Health' and will showcase Australia's contribution to research on air pollution and its effects on human health.

A call for abstracts is now open and the format can be requested from

Confirmed plenary speakers include Professor David Bowman a leading expert in fire ecology and Dr Fay Johnston a leading expert in landscape fires and wood smoke on health.

Other speakers include Ms Sian Rudge the head of Knowledge Exchange at The Sax Institute to speak on the science of Research Translation and Associate Professor Sonia Wutzke from the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre to provide real world examples of operationalising knowledge from research and practice.

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided

Program coming soon, information regarding abstracts can be found here and a template and are due by Friday 8th of April 2016.

Event program here

Registrations please click on the following link

FEBRUARY: Review of the health impacts of emission sources, types and levels of particulate matter air pollution in ambient air in NSW

CAR investigators Christine Cowie, Guy Marks and Neil Hime recently produced a report for NSW Environment Protection Authority and NSW Ministry of Health, Environmental Health Branch which provides a comprehensive review of international and and Australian evidence related to the health effects of exposure to outdoor (ambient) particulate matter and air pollution.

A focus of this report is the evidence of health effects associated with exposure to source-specific PM considered relevant to the NSW population. The PM emission sources considered in this report are:
- coal dust;
- coal-fired power stations;
- on-road vehicles (exhaust and non-exhaust emissions);
- on-road diesel vehicle exhaust;
- non-road diesel exhaust (including vehicles, machinery and shipping);
- solid fuel (wood) domestic heating;
- bushfires (including hazard reduction burning);
- crustal dust;
-sea salt; and
-biogenic sources (volatile organic compounds from vegetation).

Click here for the full review

JANUARY: Health Risk assessment of Air Pollution: General Principals

Professors Bin Jalaludin and Lidia Morawska were members of a group of international experts invited to a WHO workshop in Bonn, Germany on 12-13 May 2014 to develop methods and tools for assessing the health risks of air pollution at local, national and international levels.

The deliberations of the workshop have recently been published (“Health Risk assessment of Air Pollution: General Principals”). This report introduces the concept of air pollution health risk assessment (AP-HRA), describes in broad terms how the health risks of outdoor air pollution and its sources are estimated, and gives an overview of the general principles for the proper conduct of an AP-HRA for various scenarios and purposes. The information is aimed at a broad audience of readers who do not need to know how to apply the tools, but seek a general understanding of the concepts, scope and principles of AP-HRA.

The report can be found here

The mortality effect of ship-related fine particulate matter in the Sydney greater metropolitan region of NSW, Australia

CAR's investigators Associate Professor Geoffrey Morgan and Dr Martin Cope are authors of a new important publication

This study investigates the mortality effect of primary and secondary PM2.5 related to ship exhaust in the Sydney greater metropolitan region of Australia. A detailed inventory of ship exhaust emissions was used to model a) the 2010/11 concentration of ship-related PM2.5 across the region, and b) the reduction in PM2.5 concentration that would occur if ships used distillate fuel with a 0.1% sulfur content at berth or within 300kmof Sydney. The annual
loss of life attributable to 2010/11 levels of ship-related PM2.5 and the improvement in survival associated with use of low-sulfur fuel were estimated from the modelled concentrations.
In 2010/11, approximately 1.9% of the region-wide annual average population weighted-mean concentration of all natural and human-made PM2.5 was attributable to ship exhaust, and up to 9.4% at suburbs close to ports. An
estimated 220 years of life were lost by people who died in 2010/11 as a result of ship exhaust-related exposure (95% CIβ: 140–290,where CIβ is the uncertainty in the concentration-response coefficient only). Use of 0.1% sulfur
fuel at berth would reduce the population weighted-mean concentration of PM2.5 related to ship exhaust by 25% and result in a gain of 390 life-years over a twenty year period (95% CIβ: 260–520). Use of 0.1% sulfur fuel within
300 km of Sydney would reduce the concentration by 56% and result in a gain of 920 life-years over twenty years (95% CIβ: 600–1200). Ship exhaust is an important source of human exposure to PM2.5 in the Sydney greater metropolitan region. This assessment supports intervention to reduce ship emissions in the GMR. Local strategies to limit the sulfur content of fuel would reduce exposure and will become increasingly beneficial as the shipping industry expands.
A requirement for use of 0.1% sulfur fuel by ships within 300 km of Sydney would provide more than twice the mortality benefit of a requirement for ships to use 0.1% sulfur fuel at berth.

For further information please click here