Gam Bahadur Gurung, a former MSc Environmental Health student (2013-14), has been awarded the Environmental Protection UK ‘best research project for indoor air quality’ prize for his dissertation entitled ‘To investigate the exposure to Carbon Monoxide (CO) and PM2.5 levels inside the shisha premises of Birmingham in collaboration with Birmingham City Council (BCC)’. 

He completed his dissertation under the supervision of Dr Juana Mari Delgado Saborit and in collaboration with Janet Bradley at Birmingham City Council. This is the second award that Gam has received for his dissertation, having previously been awarded the Sir Oliver Lodge Prize.

His research demonstrated the poor compliance level of shisha business premises and their owners/managers with the current Smokefree and Health and Safety regulations. Statistical analysis revealed hazardous levels of PM2.5 inside the shisha premises which could cause serious lung-associated health effects to consumers and employees during their normal smoking and working hours. In addition, it was revealed that the PM2.5 levels from shisha premises are leaking into neighbouring environments which could cause acute health effects in vulnerable people. Due to the significant level of non-compliance with UK legislation, he recommended a systematic review and update of current Smokefree regulations and powers for local authorities’ officers to implement tighter controls on shisha businesses operations. 

Gam’s research has already attracted the interest of the CEO of the British Lung association who are looking ahead to a new challenge (Shisha smoking and their health effects). EPUK were also extremely interested in this research, particularly as it dealt with indoor air quality, and in working further with Birmingham.

EPUK awards

EPUK awards - (From left) Chairman of EPUK, Paolo (runner up) , Gam (winner), Matteo (runner up) and President of EPUK