Dioxin meeting draws world experts

WELLINGTON International and New Zealand experts on health effects of occupational exposure to chemicals will speak at a symposium at Massey University on September 7.

Professor Pier Bertazzi is Director of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Milan, Italy. He has an extensive experience in the study of environmental and occupational exposures, and in assessing their health risks. He heads the studies of the health effects of dioxin exposure in Seveso, Italy, where in 1976 an industrial accident resulted in an acute exposure of several thousand people to substantial quantities of dioxin.

Professor Allan H Smith is Professor of Epidemiology at the University of California at Berkeley, USA. He will present a health risk assessment for dioxin exposure which can be used for public health policy decision making. His presentation will include material from the document he co-authored for the Ministry for the Environment: Evaluation of toxicity of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs: A health risk appraisal for the New Zealand population.

Professor Kyle Steenland is an epidemiologist with the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He studies environmental and occupational risk factors for disease. He worked as an epidemiologist for over 20 years at the US National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health (NIOSH). Dr. Steenland will discuss the findings of a cohort study of 5000 workers exposed to dioxin while making phenoxy herbicides at 12 US chemical plants.

The symposium, Dioxin: Exposures, Health Effects and Public Health Policy, is at the Museum Building, Buckle St, from 9 5. It is organised by the Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University.