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Particle Air Pollution: Are Israeli Regulations Sufficient to Protect the Public Health?

Prof. Noam Gavrieli, Prof. Amnon Frenkel
Cite As:
Gavrieli Noam, Frenkel Amnon. Particle Air Pollution: Are Israeli Regulations Sufficient to Protect the Public Health? Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 1995.
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This seminar is held just in time, and maybe even too late. During the last two decades the world has been aware of environment problems of all kinds and especially air pollution. Awareness of the developed western world keeps growing and it seems that most countries have realized the danger inherent in environmental problems which are liable to bring us to the brink of disaster, unless we handle them in the most vigorous manner. Indications of this can be seen in a number of countries in the world, perhaps especially in several areas in Europe which are characterized by a high degree of industrialization on the one hand, and on the other hand because of political reasons of one kind or another, not enough attention has been given to the environmental consequences. In Israel the cognizance of environmental issue is still not satisfactory in comparison to those developed countries to which we want, and rightfully so, to compare ourselves and compete with. As a resident of Haifa and its surroundings for nearly 50 years, as one who is rooted and loves the city I have a serious complaint, which is directed first and foremost to all of us, and it concerns dealing with the environment. Instead of a beach that could have been one of the most sparkling beaches in the world it is strewn with garbage and sewage. The air we breathe every day is polluted. An example, from my own point of view – when I leave home in the morning, and wipe my car's windshield I can see dirt which has accumulated on the wipers or the rag. Immediately a question pops in my head – what did that dirt do to the car and at the same time to my lungs? As was said earlier, sitting with us here in this hall are the manufacturers of particles and the monitors of particles, and on this side I may be representing those who breathe particles. I apologize for the personal note but I guess that I express the interests of many of us in the subject of air pollution which is not just an academic and international issue, but also personal and immediate.

The S. Neaman Institute, organizer of this seminar, was established to utilize the technological and scientific know-how that accumulated at the Technion, do research, advise, and formulate policy in matters that have a bearing on the wide public in general and on decision makers in particular. It seems to me that the subject before us fits the objectives of the Institute like a glove, and I congratulate the Institute for organizing this seminar. We have before us a real problem the contents of which are technological and scientific-medical but its implications affect the whole public. We have at the Technion experts on the subjects from many areas – environmental engineering, chemical processes engineering, urban planning, and medicine as well as from pheromonology and epidemiology. This is of interest to the public and decisions have to be taken. This is exactly the kind of subject the Neaman Institute is meant and able to deal with, and the Institute can show past achievements in problems of a similar profile. I wish the participants in the seminar fruitful deliberations and hope that the combination of experts from the different disciplines of research, the experts for broad planning and those for individual planning, and the decision makers in urban, regional and national administration, will not only bring a better understanding of the problems but also better planning of the installations and systems on an individual scale and on a system scale, and the enforcement of regulation. Thank you and have a successful seminar.