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European and Mediterranean
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Accueil ECFF Fine and Ultrafine particles from forest fires: Recommendations/Guidelines for...
Greece

Fine and Ultrafine particles from forest fires: Recommendations/Guidelines for protection of vulnerable groups of population

Period2018
Partners
Coordinator centre : European Centre for Forest Fires
 
 

Project background

Large scale forest fires have been correlated with climate change, posing significant risks for the exposed receptors, such as population, critical infrastructures and the environment; i.e. Portugal 2017, Greece 2007 [1]. However, apart from the impacts due to fire expansion, specifically for the areas in forest-surface, there is a critical issue to take into account; the smoke produced and the respective consequences on the relevant exposed receptors. Forest fire smoke is a complex chemical mixture of a variety of substances, e.g. particles or gaseous pollutants, based on the types of materials burnt in the line of fire-front expansion [2]. Fine particles, such as PM2,5, can be transferred far away from the fire source, affecting areas over long distances (transboundary effects) [3-4]. According to epidemiological studies, fine particles are known to have adverse health effects and for that reason the International Health Organizations have set the relevant exposure limits for PM2,5 [5-8]. It seems that populations’ preparedness against fire and smoke adverse effects is very important, especially for countries frequently affected by forest fires, like the Mediterranean ones. In that framework, a joint project under EUR-OPA framework has delivered a number of proposed guidelines [9].

However, it seems that the issue of toxic effect of fine particles, especially the PM1 and ultrafine (PM0,1), needs further investigation, since so far no exposure limits have been regulated. Though, exposure to nanoparticles due to urban pollution is a priority topic for experts on a global basis over recent years, along with nanotechnology industry growth [10-11].

The aim of the project is to prepare a catalogue of useful practices and recommendations/ guidelines for the protection of population against exposure to fine and ultrafine particles, specifically as a side effect of forest fires, with special attention to vulnerable groups of population, such as the elderly, pregnant women, children, people with disabilities or hidden disabilities like asthma, or cardiopulmonary diseases.


Most significant achievements

European Centre for Forest Fires - Greece :

The ECFF's main goals in 2018 were to focus on priority target groups with special needs/vulnerabilities such as special wheelchair users, incubated babies, pregnant women, etc., in accordance with the Sendai Framework Targets in response to earthquake and fire in hospitals and coordinating evacuation. Fire and earthquake scenarios were staged in preparation of emergency evacuations of specific hospital wings. ECFF also participated in a meeting on “Help for All” organised by the Italian National Fire Department and the National Fire Academy in April in Rome focusing on the evacuation of patients with disabilities and other events.

The presentation of 2018 ECFF activities can be found above.






Expected results

Expected results year 1

European Centre for Forest Fires - Greece :

Specific objectives 2018

No EUR-OPA sponsored activity

Expected results 2018

N/A

Expected results year 2

Specific objectives 2019

  • Training of vulnerable groups on smoke emergency-training in “risk culture”.

  • Informing the population who live nearby forests about possible smoke impacts and protective measures.

Expected results 2019

  • Promote awareness of the population on UFPs/smoke impacts and personal protective equipment aspects, including vulnerable groups.
  • Enhance preparedness and promote risk culture.
ECFF

European Centre for Forest Fires - Greece



Deliverables year 1

N/A

Deliverables year 2

Booklet prepared in Greek and English with recommendations to protect population from UFPs/smoke exposure, including vulnerable groups.

(a special edition in Greek Braille language will be considered);

Delivery through social media of the booklet e.g. via Facebook, twitter etc. and also uploaded to relevant websites.

Activities year 1

No EUR-OPA sponsored activity

Activities year 2

  • Prepare recommendations/guidelines in Greek and English for the protection of population from UFPs/smoke exposure, including vulnerable groups.
  • Information and dissemination campaigns of the recommendations/guidelines to citizens, especially those who live in forest-surface municipalities; to specific civil organizations and special groups (e.g. representatives of the disability community).

European Centre for Forest Fires - Greece



Deliverables year 1


N/A

Deliverables year 2


Booklet prepared in Greek and English with recommendations to protect population from UFPs/smoke exposure, including vulnerable groups.

(a special edition in Greek Braille language will be considered);

Delivery through social media of the booklet e.g. via Facebook, twitter etc. and also uploaded to relevant websites.

Activities year 1


No EUR-OPA sponsored activity

Activities year 2


 

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