WHO second technical meeting on quantifying disease from inadequate housing



Report of a meeting held in Bonn, Germany, 15-17 November 2006


The WHO European Centre for Environment and Health is addressing the question “how much human health is negatively affected by inadequate housing?” to support European policy-makers. With the support of the German Ministry of Environment, experts met to review and assess the evidence base for quantifying environmental burden of diseases (EBD) for housing-health linkages selected by the first meeting in 2005. The experts presented the available evidence of the association between housing factors and health effects, and identified six housing-health linkages for which a burden of disease assessment will be undertaken (damp / mould and asthma; crowding and tuberculosis; house dust mites and asthma; carbon monoxide and poisoning; home safety and fall injuries; and lack of ventilation). In addition, the experts agreed on a list of relevant housing and health issues for which short evidence summaries will be prepared.
The experts agreed to continue with a first assessment of the environmental burden of disease of inadequate housing and formed six working groups to develop draft assessments. WHO will act as the secretariat to the expert working groups and coordinate the overall process.