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Task Force on Health

The Joint Task Force on the Health Aspects
of Air Pollution

Chair: Ms. Marie-Eve Heroux

The Executive Body and the European Centre for Environment and Health (ECEH) of the World Health Organization (WHO) established in 1997 the Joint Task Force on the Health Aspects of Air Pollution to assess the health effects of long-range transboundary air pollution and provide supporting documentation. Assessments aim to quantify the contribution of transboundary air pollution to human health risks and help define priorities for guiding future monitoring and abatement strategies.

The Task Force brings together experts delegated by countries that are Parties to the Convention, and its work is based on estimates of air pollution concentrations, in particular those derived by the Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP), and on the results of hazard assessment performed by the WHO (e.g. in the scope of the revision of the WHO Air Quality Guidelines). Besides assessing the health significance of the pollution as an important input to designing pollution abatement strategies, the Task Force identifies the information required for improving assessments by providing advice to monitoring and modelling activities under the Convention.

The Task Force has reviewed and reported results on the health impacts of particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). In future most of these topics will be reassessed in more detail.

Further information is available from the WHO - Health aspects of long-range transboundary air pollution website.