Influence of a vertical deviation of a 10-storey apartment building in Katowice, Poland, on selected mental functions of its occupants. A preliminary study

Joanna Kobza 1, Józef Pastuszka 2, Mariusz Geremek 1, Gabriel Gulis 3, Kazimierz Witecki 4
1 - Medical University of Silesia, School of Public Health, Bytom, Poland
2 - Silesian University of Technology, Department of Air Protection, Gliwice, Poland
3 - University of Southern Denmark, Unit for Health Promotion Research, Esbjerg, Denmark
4 - Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, Sosnowiec, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med
2013; 20 (1):
ICID: 1041695
Article type: Case report
Introduction and objectives: Coal exploitation technology could have affected the deformation of ground under a housing estate in the Upper Silesia agglomeration. The 10-storey apartment building began to deviate from the vertical. These factors affected the housing conditions of inhabitants in the block of flats. From 1991-2001, coal-mine surveyors monitored the vertical deviation. The inhabitants of the apartment building decided to put in a claim to their housing association which subsequently requested that the coal mine authorities repair the damages. The coal mine authorities initially refused to acknowledge inhabitants claim.
Materials and Methods: An interdisciplinary group of experts were engaged who examined the group of inhabitants. Generally accepted and evidence based psychological methods were selected and certified, and psychological equipment was used.
Results: Preliminary deductions showed a strict connection between psychical discomfort, negative stress and vertical deviation. Based on the experts’ report, the housing association decided to sue the coal mine authorities who offered to settle the inhabitants’ grievances out of court and to straighten the apartment building – an influenced decision.
Conclusions: This report is one of the best documented examples of a health impact assessment conducted in the 1990, a long time before the legal and methodological basis of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) began to be implemented in other European countries.
PMID 23540235 - click here to show this article in PubMed

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