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UMass Lowell Meeting 06-14-2011

June 14, 2011 - June 14, 2011
Lowell, Massachusetts

Pollution from the Use of Wood for Heat and Power: How Should Health Professionals Respond?

A Meeting for Health Scientists and Clinicians

June 14, 2011, 2:00-6:00pm


University of Massachusetts Lowell Inn and Conference Center
50 Warren Street
Lowell, MA 01852

An informal dinner will follow the program for those able to stay


Wood-burning to heat buildings and generate electricity is proliferating across the Northeast. Emissions include fine particulate matter and other substances associated with cancer, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases, often in higher concentrations than from other fuels. When wood waste from construction or demolition is used as a fuel source, there is the potential for emissions of additional hazardous compounds.

How should clinicians think about these risks as they see patients, or as they provide input to local decisions? To what extent are health concerns taken into account when wood-burning units are proposed for institutions where people are particularly susceptible to hazardous exposures, such as schools or hospitals? What policy steps can address gaps in current systems for controlling emissions and promoting healthy renewable energy? Join us to address these and other questions raised by participants, and to discuss public health policy priorities.

For more information, and to RSVP, please contact Dr. Polly Hoppin at Polly_Hoppin@uml.edu as soon as possible. To ensure interactive discussion, we are limiting the number of participants.

Organized by the University of Massachusetts Lowell in collaboration with the American Lung Association of New England, the New England Asthma Regional Council, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and the New England College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

  PDF version of meeting flyer


Meeting Highlights

Health Effects of Woody Biomass Burning in the Northeast: Framing the Issue

  • Richard Clapp, Molly Jacobs, and Polly Hoppin, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Expert Panel: Reflections on Health Effects, Air Quality Regulation, Current and Future Technologies

  • Michael Brauer, University of British Columbia
  • Richard Rumba, NH Department of Environmental Services
  • Ellen Burkhard, NY State Energy and Resource Development Authority

Clinician Panel: Implications for Clinical Practice and Policy Engagement

  • Pediatric Perspective: Sydney Sewall, Kennebec Pediatrics, Augusta, ME
  • Occupational Health Considerations: David Christiani, Harvard University
  • Policy Engagement Opportunities: Ed Miller, American Lung Assn. of New England