What do we do?
We are an international centre of excellence for research into, and training on, the health effects of environmental pollutants, and translating this knowledge to inform national and international policies in order to improve health.
Our key areas of research are:
- Environmental impacts on health
- using routinely collected datasets on health and environment
- using new individual level studies on a small scale such as exposure monitoring studies, or large-scale epidemiological cohort studies
- Enhancing understanding of mechanistic pathways from exposure to disease and gene-environment interactions in the form of the exposome.
How do we do it?
We are a multi-disciplinary research cluster, covering a wide range of techniques and approaches; using advanced geographical information systems (GIS) and statistical modelling techniques, combined with experimental data, environmental monitoring, biomarker and mechanistic studies, and analyses of large population cohorts to tackle environmental health problems of key public health and scientific importance.
We undertake a range of methodological work to underpin our research, and also develop tools to facilitate risk assessment.
Why is it important?
The effects of the environment on health is an issue that affects the whole public, and as such has the potential to cause ill health and early death across the population. It is essential to identify and quantify the risks, and also to investigate causal mechanisms through such methods as identifying biomarkers. This work can then be translated into relevant and useful advice for policymakers and industry.
Discover our research
MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health
The MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health exists to undertake the highest quality research in the fields of environment and health, in order to inform health policy and the understanding of key issues affecting society. The Centre will achieve this by bringing together the best researchers from all areas of public health, encouraging novel cross-disciplinary approaches, and providing the highest quality training to new and existing researchers in these fields.
Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU)
The main role of SAHSU is to assess the risk to the health of the population from environmental factors by using routinely collected health and population data at a small area scale. To this end, SAHSU holds comprehensive computerised sets of health and demographic data and a range of environmental datasets at high spatial resolution.
Airwave Health Monitoring Study
The Airwave Health Monitoring Study was originally established to evaluate possible health risks associated with the use of TETRA, a digital communication system used by police forces and other emergency services. The study has been broadened to investigate more generally the health of the workforce and has a special focus on cardiovascular diseases.
Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP)
SCAMP is a cohort study which will follow several thousand secondary school pupils across London from year 7 through to year 9. The aim of this study is to investigate whether children’s use of mobile phones and/or other technologies that use radio waves might affect their cognitive or behavioural development.
The EXPOsOMICS project aims to develop a new approach to assess environmental exposures, primarily focusing on air pollution and water contaminants. Using ‘omic’ techniques the collected exposure data can be linked to biochemical and molecular changes in our body. The results will help to improve our understanding on how these pollutants influence the risk of developing chronic diseases.