The ‘Plumber Protects the Health of the Nation’ Message Goes Global

Messe Frankfurt (Hong Kong) noted that 14,802 people attended the show. Photo credit: Messe Frankfurt (Hong Kong) Ltd.


My first trip to China was to attend the 2010 ISH China trade show in March in Beijing, the capital city of the People’s Republic of China. The trade show was held in the China National Convention Center, just a short walk to the Olympic Green - home of the Bird’s Nest stadium and the Water Cube venue that were built for the 2008 Olympics. (While the buildings themselves were not open to the public at that time, visitors were encouraged to walk around the grounds and take pictures. It is a spectacular sight at night when the lights are on.)

Exhibitors at the show numbered 332, including manufacturers from China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. U.S. companies exhibiting at ISH China included A. O. Smith, Calorique, Heat-Timer, Kallista, Kohler and Watts.

Show manager Messe Frankfurt (Hong Kong) noted that visitor numbers more than doubled from 7,100 in 2008 (when the trade show was located in Shanghai) to 14,802 for the 2010 show. Of these, 13,575 were from China and 1,227 attendees visited from 54 countries and regions. The top 10 visiting countries were Germany, Russia, Korea, Canada, United States, Mongolia, Japan, Turkey, Ukraine and Italy.

PM Managing Editor Kelly Faloon on the Great Wall of China.

Running alongside the three-day show was the Sino-European Congress, which had a theme of “Modern Energy-Saving Concepts and Technologies for HVAC Technology in Buildings.” It attracted more than 500 participants with topics on heat pumps and solar technology, efficient air-conditioning and ventilation systems and solar cooling, high-efficiency solar thermal systems and condensing technology, as well as the European market for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

“The Chinese really are interested in European technology because they also have rising prices and they need state-of-the-art technology, especially for the modernization of stock buildings,” commented key speaker Andreas Lücke, secretary of the Working Group Market Issues, Association of the European Heating Industry.

The 2010 China trade show was held at the China National Convention Center, Beijing.

Plumbing And Global Health

The key event I attended at ISH China was the official launch of World Plumbing Day. Robert Burgon, chairman of the World Plumbing Council, opened the briefing. The WPC was joined in the endeavor by Hua Mingjiu, chairman of the Plumbing Facilities of China Construction Metal Structures Association, and Iris Jeglitza-Moshage, vice president of technical fairs at Messe Frankfurt.

The theme for the inaugural World Plumbing Day was “Plumbing - Vital to Global Health.” According to a 2006 white paper (“Health Aspects of Plumbing”) published jointly by the World Plumbing Council and the World Health Organization, “preventable diseases related to water and sanitation claim the lives of almost 3.1 million people a year, most of them children less than five years old. Of these, about 1.6 million people die from diarrheal disease associated with lack of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.”

Pictured left, World Plumbing Council Chairman Robert Burgon and Hua Mingjiu (right), chairman of the Plumbing Facilities of China Construction Metal Structures Association.

In 2002, the white paper notes, 1.1 billion people lacked access to improved water sources. And at least 2.6 billion people lacked access to improved sanitation; more than half live in China and India.

“We want people all over the world to understand that plumbing is a major contributor to public health (through its role in relation to water and sanitation) and to the health of the planet (through the many environmental initiatives and technologies in which the industry is involved),” Burgon said.

He added that people all over the world “rarely understand” that the installation of plumbing sytems must be done in a professional way to protect people’s health.

A special Web site has been established - www.worldplumbingday.org - which will be the depository for technical and other information to be accessed by the world’s plumbers. Currently, the site has two papers that detail the health aspects of plumbing and the environmental aspects of plumbing.

“If we are to see the real benefits of the link between good plumbing and good health across the world, then there is a need to ensure that consumers of plumbing (who are virtually every householder and everyone responsible for any type of building) are fully aware of the link,” Burgon wrote in a WPC paper titled “The Role of the Plumbing Industry in Global Health.”

Some of the U.S. companies exhibiting at ISH China this year included A. O. Smith.

At the World Plumbing Day press conference, Burgon said the intent of the site is to produce short technical papers that reflect the “best thinking on plumbing technology.” He admitted that most of the information on the site is in English, but the hope is to translate these into other languages.

Activities were planned across the globe, with many groups choosing to use the day to educate children about the value of sanitary plumbing practices. In addition to these events, the WPC, the Plumbing Facilities Committee and Messe Frankfurt held a World Plumbing Day Technical Forum at ISH China that covered technical, health and environmental topics related to plumbing and plumbers.

Activities for the 2011 World Plumbing Day have not yet been announced.


All photos courtesy of Kelly Faloon unless otherwise noted.

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