Richard Thomas Burnett
Senior Research Scientist, Population Studies Division
Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch , Health Canada

About the lecture

Recent estimates of the global burden of disease due to outdoor air pollution have highlighted the need to develop methods for consistent assessment of exposure, estimates of baseline health rates, and risk functions relating exposure to disease globally. These estimates have now been applied to each country throughout the world, yielding estimates of excess deaths and disability adjusted life years from 1990 to the 2016. However, detailed policy analyses are being conducted postulating how predicted changes in air quality affect population health, both globally and at the local level. Should a global based program be applied to every local situation, where potentially unique physical/chemical composition of the atmospheric mixture of pollution exists? Dr. Burnett will present a Canadian program designed to conduct a local based burden of disease using national exposure modelling and epidemiology studies specially designed to estimate population health impacts from exposure to outdoor air pollution from the cradle (birth outcomes), development of both childhood and adult diseases, cancer, and death (grave).

About the speaker

Dr. Burnett received his Ph.D. from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada in 1982 in Mathematical Statistics. He is a senior research scientist with the Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch of Health Canada, where he has been working since 1984 on issues relating to environmental risk assessment. Dr. Burnett’s interests are in mathematical and statistical methods to track health risks from environmental hazards in both space and time allowing assessments of the effectiveness of risk management strategies with respect to improvements in population health. Dr. Burnett has served on numerous US National Academy of Science Committees and university program advisory committees. He is a member of the Global Burden of Disease committee on Outdoor Air Pollution and a recent recipient of the Federal Public Service Excellence in Science 2012 Award and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

For more information please contact Rebecca Greenberg at rgreenberg@ph.ucla.edu or at (310) 206-1619