Mid term meeting, 29-30 October 2014, Barcelona

The MED HISS Mid term meeting took place in Barcelona at end October 2014. The Agenda of the meeting comprised:
- A collection of opinions on the state of the art of the project
- To point out main difficulties and the way to overcome them
- Next meeting date and venue

Communication/stakeholders: we should try to make more efforts in this regard, especially outside Italy. However, it is difficult to meet with stakeholders without having results. Meetings more oriented to explain the MED-HISS approach of “low-cost” monitoring system and less oriented to the final relative risks are a good idea. Could describe the problems encountered, the final results and ideas/recommendations for the future. Translation of brochures and Pdf versions in the website in the different languages would be nice.

Air pollution: our maps adequately characterize background levels. However, both external experts highlight that we are strongly underestimating the levels in big cities. Specifically, our maps do not show the known hotspots and the places that are officially reported to exceed the annual levels set by the EC. We should attempt to correct for that. The urban delta method should be explored, although it seems it is not a perfect solution. Another option is to replace the values for the big cities with the official annual values, obtained from the monitoring stations.
We could then have two estimates, those based only on models, and the ones where we replace the values for big cities. Epidemiological analyses can use both to see if results differ.
Epidemiological analyses of Ozone are very relevant in the Mediterranean area, they could be one of our main focus.

Ecological data analysis: we will conduct a “traditional” ecological analysis. Confounder data is difficult to obtain, but at the very least we should adjust for some deprivation index and smoking prevalence (or a proxy such as lung cancer mortality). Other variables such as urban/rural, income, etc. are also of interest. Xavier Basagaña will contact the different countries to find out which confounders are available. A draft of the statistical analysis protocol will be produced, with specific proposals on how to deal with those issues.

Papers: a list of planned papers would be useful, maybe to be discussed in Ljubliana where we will have a clearer idea of how things are going. A paper explaining the MED-HISS story, the idea, the advantages, how it could not be implemented in some countries, and suggestions for future could be relevant.

Project partners took part in the meeting apart from France that was connected in videoconference. The project external experts were present too.

Mid term meeting, agenda