Air pollution

Air pollution is a major global environmental issue. We are using expert scientific knowledge to establish ways to reduce the exposures to air pollution for all global citizens.

Air pollution is responsible for millions of deaths and disability around the world. Everybody is exposed to air pollution, therefore reducing exposure is a key means of reducing health impacts.

Fine particulate matter has been linked with changes in the body even at low levels. Much of the world population, however, is exposed to high and dangerous levels of particle matter. The impacts are especially being realised in developing country megacities and rural homes.

What our scientists do:

Our scientist's design interventions to reduce air pollution exposure and this requires careful understanding of the sources of pollution, where, and how, people encounter pollution in their everyday lives.

Using health impact assessments, personal and area exposure monitoring, exposure modelling, and epidemiological studies we can help governments, businesses and citizens be aware of and reduce the effects of air pollution.

We have been a leader in health impact assessment (HIA) for air pollution for over 20 years, both within the UK and internationally.

Today, we continue providing expertise in HIA but have also developed strong research capabilities in air pollution exposure assessment. We lead studies on evaluating the factors that determine people’s personal level exposures to air pollution and how these exposures may impact the body.

Furthermore, we examine how interventions may help reduce exposure to air pollutants. We recently completed a set of unique studies to examine the real-world effectiveness of a variety of face masks in reducing the amount of particulate matter that a person may breathe in.

Key projects

  • Air Pollution Impacts on Cardiopulmonary Disease in Beijing (APIC-ESTEE)
  • Delhi Air Pollution: Health and Effects (DAPHNE)
  • Thailand Air Pollution and Health Impact Assessment (TAPHIA)

Sponsors we have worked for 

  • National Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Scottish Government
  • European Commission
  • Public Health England
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