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Desert Dust Storms and Associated Human Health Effects

by Dr Souzana Achilleos, Assistant Professor in Enviromental Health, University of Nicosia Medical School

Southern and Eastern European countries exceed very often the WHO and EU air quality standards, mainly due to transported anthropogenic pollution and desert dust storms.  Despite their natural source of origin, desert dust storms are associated with several adverse health effects.  For Cyprus, which is one of the highly affected countries in Eastern Europe, there are no systematic guidelines, regional or national, to protect people’s health from exposure to the dust particles.  Dr Achilleos will examine the dust storm phenomenon and the impact it has on Cyprus air quality and will discuss the public health intervention study taking place currently in the region.


Dr Achilleos holds a BSc degree in Chemistry from the National and Kapodistrian University in Athens, Greece; a Master of Science in Environmental Health from Cyprus International Institute for the Environment and Public Health in Association with Harvard School of Public Health; and a ScD (Doctor of Science) degree in Environmental Health from Harvard University in Boston, MA, USA.

Her research interests include exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, and public health; and particularly the investigation of sources, fate and transport, and effects of air pollution, including dust storms, on human health.

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