Select Committee on Health Written Evidence

Supplementary memorandum by Dr Andrew Geens (SP 17A)

  Thank you for the opportunity to respond to comments made during the evidence gathering session on Thursday 20 October 2005.

  In the first instance I think that it would be useful to clarify my credentials. I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Glamorgan. I am a Chartered Engineer. I have been a Fellow of the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management since 1993 and a Member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, (formerly the Institute of Heating and Ventilating Engineers), since 1991.

  My primary academic role is as Award Leader for the BEng (Hons) Building Services Engineering. This Award is one of only ten such courses in the UK accredited by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers. Earlier this year the University received a national award (The Happold Brilliant Award) for excellence in teaching Building Services Engineering.

  My PhD thesis, (a peer reviewed publication), involved the development of new ventilation techniques with a view to improving indoor air quality. The research was conducted between 1995 and 2000 whilst I was a full time member of staff, so the PhD was funded by the University of Glamorgan.

  Given these credentials, I include ventilation and indoor air quality in listings of staff "know-how" provided by the University for knowledge transfer purposes, with a view to providing consultancy services on a commercial basis. As it may be pertinent, I have attached the Conclusions and Further Work Chapter of my PhD. It is only six pages long. Please note that this was written and submitted in May 2000, two and a half years before I conducted my first site study into ventilation systems in pubs, (the Manchester Airport pub referred to in the evidence session).

  I would like to take the opportunity to respond specifically to comments made in the evidence session referred to above.

Q73.   Charlotte Atkins to Dr Edwards

  Dr Edwards refers to a study of 60 pubs in Manchester. He is no more specific than that, but he may be referring to the Study conducted by Jo Carrington at Manchester Metropolitan University. I am not aware of any other study. The study carried out by Jo Carrington was carried out in 60 pubs in Manchester, and her findings should be of interest to you, even if it is not the study referred to by Dr Richard Edwards.

  A paper was published in the refereed journal Indoor and Built Environment in 2005, entitled "The Contribution of Environmental Tobacco Smoke to Indoor Pollution in Pubs and Bars". The authors are Ivan Gee, Adrian Watson and Joanna Carrington.

  The final paragraph of the paper reads as follows "The effectiveness of ventilation methods in controlling ETS levels in pubs and bars appears from this study to be limited . . . A study involving a larger number of pubs and with a more detailed characterisation of the ventilation systems is required to determine the effectiveness of ventilation strategies for controlling ETS in these environments.

Q75.   Charlotte Atkins to Dr Edwards

  Dr Edwards is correct that the monitoring at the Airport Hotel was from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm. The study was designed in consultation with the brewery and pub management.

  Their advice was that the pub was busier during the day than in the evening. At the end of the four day study period I was not satisfied that we had captured data for the pub at its busiest. The management team had been confident that in the week leading up to Christmas they would be very busy with local firms having Christmas lunch outings. This did not turn out to be the case. Consequently I left my monitoring equipment in the pub for another week to include Christmas Eve. My report included data for a continuous 48 hour period covering 23 and 24 December. If you would like to see the full report I can make it available.

Q76.   Charlotte Atkins to Dr Edwards

  None of my studies have been funded by a tobacco company. I find the implication that if a study is funded by industry there must be a conflict of interest a bit surprising as according to the University of Manchester website, they receive £7.5 million in research funding from UK industry and commerce.

  In response to Dr Edwards remarks on other ventilation studies I would refer to my response to Q73.

  Dr Edwards also refers to the cost of ventilation systems. Whether people are smoking or not, all populated buildings require ventilation under current Health and Safety legislation, suggesting to me that ventilation is effective. Dr Edwards mentions a figure of £15,000 as an example of how expensive it can be. He might be interested to know that in a recently refurbished pub in the centre of Cardiff, £140,000 was spent on the ventilation system.

  I think that I have addressed the points raised by Dr Edwards. If you would like further information please let me know.

   I note from the full proceedings from the evidence session, that you are interested in receiving evidence on ventilation performance and that comments are being made by people who have no apparent expertise in this area. From my credentials above I would hope that you consider that I have the necessary expertise. If you would like to draw on a wider circle of expertise, I would not claim to be unique in my expertise, perhaps you would like to refer to the recently published, (October 2005), REHVA Guidebook—Ventilation and Smoking. This Guidebook is peer reviewed and includes four of my recent studies. REHVA is the Federation of European Heating and Air-conditioning Association, drawing on 29 European countries for its membership.

November 2005

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