CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: July 24, 2001
UI professor selected to advise World Health Organization
IOWA CITY, Iowa A University of Iowa professor is one of about 15
people worldwide invited to participate in a World Health Organization (WHO)
workshop in Geneva, Switzerland this fall. Kevin Kregel, a professor of exercise
science in the College of Liberal Arts, was selected as a temporary advisor
for the WHO Temperature Workshop Oct. 16-17.
The workshop will bring together an international panel of experts to present
information on the effect of temperature on mammalian cells, tissues and organs
and define the temperature levels causing adverse effects in these biological
systems. The panel will then prepare a written report on recommendations for
maximum permissible temperature elevations in human beings.
The workshop is being held in conjunction with the ongoing International
Electromagnetic Field Project at the WHO, which seeks to identify the effects
of exposure to electromagnetic fieldssuch as those created by cellular
phonesand to make a concerted effort to identify gaps in knowledge in
this area, Kregel said. The WHO wants to know at a basic science level what
high temperatures can do to human beings, so it can address potential concerns
about radiation effects which can increase body temperature and potentially
damage sensitive tissues such as brain, eye, and testes, he said.
"I am looking forward to the discussions and the recommendations well
generate," Kregel said. "The scientific literature in this field
has not been critically evaluated, so it has been difficult to generate a
consensus related to these specific health concerns. There needs to be a sound
scientific basis for guideline development and health risk assessment going
Kregel said colleagues at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended
him to the WHO for the workshop. One area of his research focuses on the effects
of such stressors as hyperthermia and exercise on cardiovascular and thermoregulatory
control systems at the organ, cellular, and molecular level.