Cyprus, among all EU states, experiences the most adverse impacts of global warming with the fastest increase in mean temperature, and reduced precipitation and desertification, which results in new, emerging risks for the health of the population and especially the vulnerable.

The conclusion came from a scientific discussion in Nicosia on Wednesday involving the medical schools of the University of Cyprus and the University of Nicosia, with the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

According to a subsequent announcement, Cyprus, among all the member states of the European Union, is a country with unique environmental exposures since the country and the Eastern Mediterranean region in general is one of the world’s climate-change hotspot. This in turn impacts public health.

It said that in the last 15 years academic institutions in Cyprus have started to develop research interests in the field of environmental health, while in parallel the national regulatory authorities have strengthened considerably their capacity and monitoring networks and started to produce good data in the fields of air quality, ambient radiation, meteorology, coded health outcomes and surveillance statistics.

If the collected environmental data are analysed together with health data using appropriate scientific methodologies to draw conclusions, it could impact public health policies and interventions.

During the event, researchers aimed to examine the excess mortality that is caused by extreme low and high temperatures in Cyprus, assess association between exposure to increasing ambient temperature during pregnancy and birthweight of term new-born babies in Cyprus, examine which specific constituents of particulate matter are strongly associated with cardiorespiratory hospitalisations in Cyprus and look into radioactivity levels during desert dust events.