Imperial College London

Imperial experts join Hammersmith & Fulham partnership to tackle air pollution

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Professor Frank Kelly, Director of Imperial's Environmental Research Group, speaking at the event.

Imperial researchers will partner with Hammersmith & Fulham Council and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust on local air quality research.

The Environmental Research Group (ERG), home to Imperial’s world-leading air pollution research, Hammersmith & Fulham Council (H&F) and Imperial College Healthcare are launching a three-year partnership to collaborate on research aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of residents in the Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, and beyond. 

"We welcome and applaud Hammersmith & Fulham’s ambition to improve air quality in the Borough and to reduce the health burden that currently exists and is putting pressure on the NHS." Professor Frank Kelly Environmental Research Group

During the launch event at Imperial’s White City Campus, attendees heard how the ERG has worked over the past 30 years to develop air quality monitoring technology and raise awareness with policymakers of the scientific evidence on the link between air quality and poor health.

Attendees also heard from Imperial College Healthcare’s Dr Bob Klaber and Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s Stephen Cowan who shared how they hope this new partnership will drive forward efforts to improve air quality in the borough and public engagement on this issue.

Professor Frank Kelly, Director of the ERG, said: “Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health. Even though air quality has improved in recent decades, it is still affecting the health of all residents, especially children and those with pre-existing health problems. We therefore welcome and applaud Hammersmith & Fulham’s ambition to improve air quality in the Borough and to reduce the health burden that currently exists and is putting pressure on the NHS.” 

Councillor Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: “Dirty air is a threat to us all. We’re working in partnership with experts at Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to deliver a cleaner, healthier and greener borough as we take back control of the air we breathe.

“We’re already pioneering pollution-busting climate action, from ‘solar leaf’ clean air tech and Tiny Forests, through to Britain’s densest network of EV charge points, energy-efficient homes built to Passivhaus standard and local heat networks to help us switch the borough to clean energy.”

The Breathe London Community Programme is an example of how the ERG is raising awareness of air quality in the capital.
The Breathe London Network of air quality sensors is an example of how the ERG is raising awareness of pollution in the capital.

Dr Bob Klaber, Director of Strategy, Research and Innovation, and Net Zero Board Lead, at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are absolutely committed to doing all we can to support the health and wellbeing of people living and working in our local communities, both in and outside of our hospitals. 

"Dirty air is a threat to us all. We’re working in partnership with experts at Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to deliver a cleaner, healthier and greener borough as we take back control of the air we breathe." Cllr Stephen Cowan Hammersmith & Fulham Council

“Reducing air pollution, which can have a devastating impact on health, is an important part of this. I'm delighted that we are joining forces with Hammersmith & Fulham Council and Imperial College London for this ambitious project to improve local air quality. 

“This is a huge challenge locally and can only be addressed by making the most of our collective expertise, working together with our local communities.” 

The partnership is an example of how Imperial’s research is having real-world impact in London and other cities around the UK. It will have a number of objectives, including: 

  • Raising public awareness of air quality issues in the borough, such as different sources of pollution and areas with high pollution levels. 
  • Encouraging behavioural changes among residents to reduce their exposure to pollution. 
  • Developing evidence-based solutions to improve air quality in the borough. 

Its work will include public engagement work (such as educational campaigns and citizen science initiatives), seminars, joint funding bids, and workshops and training sessions for H&F staff, residents and stakeholders.

Professor Deborah Ashby speaking to Hammersmith & Fulham Council leader Stephen Cowan.
Professor Deborah Ashby, Dean of Imperial's Faculty of Medicine, speaking to Hammersmith & Fulham Council Leader Stephen Cowan.

Imperial’s researchers will provide expertise in air quality research, modelling, and analysis for the partnership and contribute to the development of air quality improvement plans and policies. 

Professor Kelly added: “Imperial’s contribution to this initiative provides the expertise and understanding to identify air pollution hotspots and effective measures to mitigate the sources of pollution. Where appropriate, we can also demonstrate the links between exposure to pollution and ill health which provide a strong basis for taking remedial action. 

"[Air pollution] is a huge challenge locally and can only be addressed by making the most of our collective expertise, working together with our local communities." Dr Bob Klaber Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

“Together, the Hammersmith & Fulham Borough, Imperial and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust make a formidable team and we hope that the actions of this partnership will lead to Hammersmith & Fulham having the best air quality in London.”

Hammersmith & Fulham Council and the ERG have previously collaborated on projects such as the Breathe London Network, which provides air quality sensors for local community groups, and WellHome, a study researching indoor air quality and its impact on health.

The ERG is a world-renowned research group specialising in air quality and its impact on health and the environment. Over the past 30 years, the group’s work has played a key role in major advancements on measuring and understanding air quality data, working with local government authorities to improve air quality across the UK.

Reporter

Conrad Duncan

Conrad Duncan
Communications Division

Tags:

Environment, White-City-Campus, School-of-Public-Health, White-City-Community-Engagement, Pollution, Public-health, Comms-strategy-Real-world-benefits, Strategy-collaboration
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