The 1st annual meeting of the TAPHIA project took place last week (10th and 11th of May 2018) at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) in Edinburgh, UK. The UK team from the IOM and Heriot-Watt University welcomed the visitors from Bangkok: Assoc. Prof. Kraichat Tantrakarnapa, Dr Kanchana Nakhapakorn, Dr Narut Sahanavin and Nopadol Precha.
Professor Cherrie welcomed the visitors to IOM and everyone introduced themselves and explained their role in the project. The first day of the meeting, a training day/workshop, started of with Fintan Hurley presenting on the use of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) for air pollution. This was followed by a discussion of a practical example HIA in Thailand from Will Mueller. Discussions around HIA, data availability and air quality problems in Thailand concluded the morning session.
The afternoon kicked off with John Cherrie talking about the health outcomes associated with air pollutants, both those that are widely accepted by the scientific community and other more emergent associations. This was followed by an interesting discussion around how we will undertake the initial HIA for the TAPHIA project. The coffee break came just in time for both, jetlagged and non-jetlagged researchers. In the final session of the day, Susanne Steinle discussed plans for the air pollution measurements in TAPHIA and demonstrated the PM2.5 monitor that will be used in the study. Day 1 was rounded up with the project dinner in central Edinburgh.
The team regathered again on Friday morning for a day full of discussions about progress on the TAPHIA project and forward planning. Kraichat Tantrakarnapa kicked the meeting off with his presentation of data from the recent “haze” episodes in Bangkok. This was followed by a talk by Will Mueller about the national air quality data from the Thailand Pollution Control Department. After the coffee break, the team discussed options for modelling air pollution in Thailand (Sotiris Vardoulakis) and general data integration needs for the project.
After lunch and a photo session, Kanchana Nakhapakorn showed results from an initial GIS analysis looking at air pollution across Thailand. We then had a discussion about exposure models and further planning for the survey work in Thailand, which will commence later in the year.
The meeting finished with a summing up of the discussions and the agreed actions. Everyone on the TAPHIA team is looking forward to another year full of research activities and the 2nd annual meeting in Thailand in 2019.