Environmental Epidemiology Training Module and recent conference presentations

Hello all and welcome to the Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Community of Practice (CoP) on Knowledge Hub. The work shown in this CoP is managed by the Environmental Epidemiology Group (EEG) within Public Health England (PHE). If you would like to know more about our group or any specific work we're doing, feel free to comment or get in touch with us at: epht@phe.gov.uk. 

Environmental Epidemiology Training module

Every year, as part of the UK Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP), both fellows and anyone internal or external to PHE, can apply to attend as a participant in this week-long residential training module. The UK-FETP Environmental Epidemiology module is designed to introduce concepts and skills to enable participants to contribute epidemiological support in the preparedness and response to environmental health threats[RC1] . It’s jointly prepared by the UK FETP and the Environmental Epidemiology Group within the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (CRCE) in PHE / UK Public Health Security Agency, with contributions from across the organisation and academic partners.

The module comprises of a mix of lectures in the morning and interactive scenario-based seminars in small groups in the afternoons. It’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in a comprehensive introduction to the full scope of environmental epidemiology in service, in research and in a global context[RC2] . The module is hosted by the FETP trainers and the Environmental Epidemiology Group, and lectures were delivered (both digitally and in-person) by a variety of experts in environmental epidemiology, toxicology, extreme events, climate change and disaster risk/reduction.

The aim is to provide participants with an introduction to the principal topics in environmental epidemiology, with an emphasis on surveillance, research and risk management and communication. Together with work-based experience the module should equip participants with the knowledge and tools required to provide epidemiological support to health protection threats of an environmental nature. It’s also a great opportunity to meet a varying range of employees at PHE. Opportunities for future employment in environmental epidemiology are discussed.

Conference presentations

Public Health Research and Science conference 24th-27th May 2021:

Many of the environmental epidemiology team members presented work in the Environment and Health session at the Public Health Research and Science conference hosted online by PHE. Our team presented on 5 topics:

  1. Bernd Eggen presented “Facilitating access to 150 years of weather data for public health surveillance”. Available to view here
  2. Neelam Iqbal presented “Disparities in childhood Lead exposure cases in England 2015-2019”
  3. Hannah Emmett presented “A protocol for implementing a health register in response to the explosion of ammonium nitrate in Beirut, Lebanon, August 2020”.
  4. Helen Crabbe presented “Developing an air pollution exposure surveillance system in England; a new national vulnerability indicator”. Available to view here.
  5. Elizabeth Marchant presented "Pilot study to identify key sources of lead exposure among children in Georgia".

The 14th UK and Ireland Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Society meeting took place 3rd-4th June 2021:

  • Group leader, Dr Giovanni Leonardi chaired session 3 of the conference, titled: “COVID-19 epidemiology and environment”.
  • Rebecca Close presented “Which groups of individuals are more likely to die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning? An overview of coroners’ findings”
  • Dr Tony Fletcher presented: “Exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances and risk for COVID-19, new results and implications for general population exposure”

The UK Indoor Environment Group (UKIEG) conference took place on 24th June 2021:

  • Rebecca Close presented “Why do people still die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning? An overview of coroners’ findings”

Lastly, we have the 33rd Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology conference coming up from 23rd-26th August 2021. The following colleagues will be presenting:

  • Helen Crabbe will be presenting “Developing an air pollution exposure surveillance system in England: a new national vulnerability indicator”
  • Dr Tony Fletcher will be presenting “Characteristics of Studies that have influence in policy- examples from PFAS epidemiology”

Join our group page for further updates on the work we’re involved in and to access our publications.

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