TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – This weekend in Taipei, National Taiwan University College of Public Health is hosting the annual conference of the Asian Chapters of the International Society of Environmental Epidmioligy (ISEE) and the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES) from June 21 to June 24, with with scholars from 12 different nations in attendance.
The theme of this year's conference is “Changing Environments and Healthy Generations” and the conference aims to address the question of “how to secure human health in dramatic changing environments.”
By drawing together some of the top researchers in public health and environmental epedimiology, events like the ISEE/ES-AC conference help researchers better understand the crucial environmental issues confronting humanity across the world.
As the chairman of the ISEE-AC, Chang-Chuan Chan (詹長權) noted in his opening remarks on Friday, June 23, “Asia is an increasingly important region for public health.” As a major hub of the global economy, with such a large population, citizens in some Asian countries are exposed to some of the highest levels of air pollutants in the world, and much research remains to be done to understand how environmental factors can affect reproductive health.
Chairman of the ISEE-AC, Chang-Chuan Chan (Taiwan News)
Chan emphasizes that “common problems we now face in Asia require us to join forces to provide scientific information that can help raise public awareness, and advice for policy makers of individual countries and international organizations in our region.”
Among the keynote speakers, the head of the EPA's Children's Health Protection Department, Ruth A. Eztel, discussed what she views as a major disconnect between what is known by the scientific community and actions that are taken by health professionals and policy makers in regards to environmental health issues across the world.
Head of the EPA's Children's Health Protection Department Ruth A. Eztel (Taiwan News)
To solve such a disconnect, she asserts that the scientific community must make more effort to bridge the communication gap, to make data about environmental health issues more easily understood to policy makers, along with offering potential actionable measures to address crucial environmental problems.
Another keynote speaker was the Director of Taiwan's National Institute for Environmental Health Science, Leon Guo. Using the 2011 plasticizer and food safety crisis in Taiwan as an example, Guo discussed how health crises might be avoided in the future if more scientific knowledge could be applied to areas of industry and business, and if society can properly implement beneficial policies following such environmental crises.
Director of Taiwan's National Institute for Environmental Health Science, Leon Guo (Taiwan News)
Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health Prof. Joel Schwartz (Taiwan News)
The final keynote speaker of the opening day was a professor from Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Joel Schwartz who spoke about how temperature affects human health.
In a brief interview with Taiwan News, Schwartz said that despite the serious challenges and changes to human habitat and environment that are underway in the world, there is still some positive news for people, including a large decrease in pollution occurring in the developed world, as the political will to act on environmental concerns has grown.
Further, the increasing availability and affordability of renewable technologies is creating an excellent opportunity for genuinely viable, and sustainable energy infrastructure in developing nations.
Taiwan recognizes the importance of respecting and caring for the natural environment, and the ISEE and ISES is pursuing important studies that will hopefully help future generations live healthy lives in greater balance with their environment.
To welcome the scholars to Taiwan, and as a show of support for their important work, I-Mei Foods acted as a sponsor for the ISEE/ES-AC 2018 conference, catering the event with healthy naturally produced food products, which demonstrate I-Mei's commitment to promoting healthy living in Taiwan and a throughout the world.