Prospective lung health monitoring in relation to a new power plant

A. Goren, H. Bibi, J. R. Goldsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A new power plant has been in operation in Ashkelon since the end of 1990. In order to record the effect of the environmental changes on lung health, a prospective monitoring system was established during the planning and construction phase of the plant. Data about lung health in the general population as well as the sensitive population (asthma patients) are recorded, and air pollution is monitored by seven monitoring stations located within a 5-25 km radius of the power plant. The lung health monitoring system includes: (1) A record of all visits to the local emergency room. (2) A record of visits to ten representative outpatient clinics related to cardiac and pulmonary symptoms. (3) A close follow-up of 200 asthmatic children enrolled in the local pediatric pulmonary clinic. This includes spirometry four times yearly, an annual winter check-up by a pediatric pulmonologist, and daily symptoms diary filled in by each patient for two weeks after the spirometry. (4) Spirometry and health questionnaires filled out by the parents of the 3600 studied children once in three years. (5) Mortality rate monitoring, relying on the Ministry of Health death registration. This system has been in operation since 1988, collecting base line data; the follow-up is planned to be operating for ten years. A dynamic interaction of the environmental and epidemiological monitoring systems will facilitate more efficient control of the emmissions from the power plant and better protection of the health of the population. It is hoped that this kind of monitoring system will provide tools for prevention of disease via lowering of environmental pollution, when necessary, by switching to low sulfur fuel, lowering the plant's capacity, and raising the temperature (and hence the dispersion) of the stack gases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Health Reviews
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • PFT
  • air pollution
  • asthmatic children follow-up
  • emergency room records
  • health questionnaire
  • mortality monitoring
  • outpatient records
  • schoolchildren follow-up

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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