Health Effects of Lebanese School Indoor Environment (HELSIE)
University of Balamand
Public Health
Medical Laboratory Sciences Program, in Achrafieh facing Saint George University Hospital
Dr. Elias Chalhoub
Dr. Elias Chalhoub
English (Required)
4 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
No No Yes Yes No No No No No No Yes Yes
Type of Research Project
- Clinical Project with Laboratory work
What is the background of the project?
In 2012, Beirut Air Pollution and Health Effects (BAPHE) study determined a significant association between short-term variations in ambient concentrations of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and emergency hospital admissions for respiratory diseases in the city of Beirut. Based on SINPHONIE (European Project for Schools Indoor Pollution and Health) guideline and results, indoor pollution may lead to the disturbance of children’s health, growth, opportunities and learning performance, as well as their cultural and social development. In Lebanon, studies related to air pollution did not focus on indoor air pollution and schoolchildren health studies did not consider the physical environment in evaluating the health status of pupils. Therefore, it is crucial to assess the problem of indoor air pollution in the Lebanese schools. As a result, HELSIE study aims to study the association between Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in Lebanese schools and the potential health impact on schoolchildren.
What is the aim of the project?
Our objectives are: - To assess the health effects of the outdoor/indoor school environment by measuring and assessing the physical, chemical and biological parameters of contaminants found in Lebanese schools. New exposure data will be produced. - To evaluate the impact of the outdoor air pollution on the indoor school environment by comparing the levels of outdoor air pollutants to indoor air pollutants. - To obtain data on schoolchildren health status, school performance and health effects related to the exposure to the indoor environment through questionnaires and clinical tests. - To develop potential solutions and guidelines helping Lebanese schools to improve their IAQ. - To disseminate HELSIE results to relevant stakeholders and advocate for better indoor environment in Lebanese schools.
What techniques and methods are used?
In this study, we investigate the relationship between the concentration and variation of School indoor air pollutant with respiratory health indicators and school performance. We expect to see a direct correlation between all the mentioned elements. We have solid evidence in the literature showing the link between indoor air pollution and respiratory health indicators. We believe that schoolchildren, who spend most of their time in classrooms of their schools, are highly affected by such indoor air pollution. On the following basis, we expect to see an effect on their school performance. On another hand, the analyses of clinical tests will give us additional parameters and help us assess the existence of allergic sensitization in school children; thus, a wider image of the health status of Lebanese
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks of the student will be performed on his/her own
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student? (minimum 10 lines - please, provide detailed explanation) The main tasks (based on the protocol elaborated in SINPHONIE project, mentionned above) that are expected to be accomplished by the student will be first of all to to go on field visits (schools) on a regular basis during the period that he/she is participating in this study. Second, the student will fill medical questionnaire where the target population is schoolchildren. And finally he/she will perform air sampling and cary out the required test at the lab.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a scientific report
- The student will prepare a presentation
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
critical thinking, some microbiological knowledge, air polution knowledge
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Students in biomedical fields
- 1. Short-term relationships between emergency hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiovascular diseasesand fine particulate air pollution in Beirut; Lebanon. Mrad et al. (2015). Environ Monit Assess (2015) 187:196.DOI 10.1007/s10661-015-4409-6 2. EPA’s report on the environment ROE; Air pollution. Retrieved from EPA website: 3. Relationships between school indoor environment and respiratory health in children of five European countries(HESE Study). Simoni M; Annesi-Maesano I; Sigsgaard;D et al.(2006). Eur Repir J; 28:837s. 4. SINPHONIE Schools Indoor Pollution and Health Observatory Network in Europe Guidelines for healthy environments within European schools. ISBN 978-92-79-39151-4 (PDF) doi: 10.2788/89936 Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union; 2014 European Union; 2014. 5. Time series analysis of air pollutants in Beirut; Lebanon. Wehbeh et al. (2014).Environ Monit Assess; DOI 10.1007/s10661-014-3998-9 6. Comparison of carcinogen; carbon monoxide; and ultrafine particle emissions from narghile waterpipe and cigarette smoking: Sidestream smoke measurements and assessment of second-hand smoke emission factors; N. Daher; R.Saleh; E. Jaroudi; H. Sheheitli; T. Badr; E. Sepetdjian; M. Al Rashidi; N. Saliba; A. Shihadeh; Atmospheric Environment; 44 (1); 2009; 8-14 7. Levels and indoor-outdoor relationships of PM10 and soluble inorganic ions in Beirut; Lebanon Saliba; N.A.; Atallah; M.; Al-Kadamany; G.; Atmospheric Research; 92 (1); 2009; 131-137. 8. Charcoal emissions as a source of CO and carcinogenic PAH in mainstream narghile waterpipe smoke; B. Monzer; E. Sepetdjian; N.A. Saliba and A.L. Shihadeh; Food and Chemical Toxicology; 46 (9); 2008; 2991-2995. 9. Volatile aldehydes in the mainstream smoke of the narghile waterpipe Food and Chemical Toxicology; M. Al-Rachidi; A.L. Shihadeh and N.A. Saliba; Food and Chemical Toxicology; 46 (11); 2008; 3546-3549. 10. Measurement of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in narghile waterpipe tobacco smoke E. Sepetdjian; A.L. Shihadeh and N.A. Saliba; Food and Chemical Toxicology; 46 (5); 2008; 1582-1590. 11. Indoor secondhand tobacco smoke emission levels in six Lebanese cities. Saade G; Seidenberg AB; Rees VW; et al. Tobacco Control 2010;19:138-142. 12. Global School-based student Health Survey. Afifi; R.& Abou Jaoude; S. (2007). Retrieved from the world health Oganization: