Fintan Hurley is an epidemiologist with a background in statistics. Since the early 1990s he has been active in Health Impact Assessment (HIA) and Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) of outdoor air pollution, including leading on HIA methodology in the long-term ExternE programme of the European Commission DG Research and for the CBA of the EC’s Clean Air for Europe (CAFE) Programme in 2005/6. He is currently Scientific Director at the IOM (Institute of Occupational Medicine), an independent not-for-profit research centre in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK; and an Honorary Professor at Heriot Watt University nearby.
Fintan led the recently completed EU FP6 Integrated Project HEIMTSA, including HIA of a wide range of environmental pollutants and stressors, and EDPHiS, a project on the environmental determinants of health in children, funded by the Scottish Government. He chairs the quantification subgroup QUARK of the UK Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP), and is, from time to time, a member of various Working Groups on health effects and/or HIA of air pollution for WHO, US EPA, EC and other international bodies.
Nobody much denies that air pollution damages public health. Policy makers and others want to know big a public health problem it is (the burden question) and what are the health benefits of policies and measures that reduce air pollution (the impact question). Drawing on over 20 years’ experience of working with others to provide answers for policy makers and others, Fintan Hurley will overview the strengths and limitations of current practice, and draw attention to some long-standing issues and emerging themes.