Exposure science studies the transfer of hazardous agents from the environment into our bodies, and methods by which exposure pathways can be minimised. The Exposure Science Team within ERG specialises in air pollution exposure assessment, forming a bridge between the measurement and modelling teams.
We research methods for improving air pollution exposure estimates and methodologies, moving from a static, residential address-based approach through to one that truly reflects the air that an individual breathes as they go about their daily lives. Our aim is to reduce exposure misclassification and demonstrate stronger, better defined links between air pollution and health outcomes in the fields of epidemiology and toxicology, with particular focus on vulnerable groups.
Much of our research utilises sensory devices to measure individuals’ exposure to air pollution to explore links between environmental factors, daily activities and health outcomes. The very large datasets produced in such studies requires specialist data analysis techniques.
Air pollution exposure is poorly understood as a public health risk, and reduction presents a method of protecting human health beyond air quality improvement. It integrates with other health metrics, such as active travel, road safety and greenspace, and we are also researching how this integration can be used to encourage behavioural change and public health protection in an engaging and effective way.
The majority of our research is in collaboration with international multidisciplinary teams ranging from social science and policy development, through to cohort and population health studies. We have a global reach, with ongoing studies based in Australia, Nepal, China and across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Recent or ongoing research projects
- APEx: An Air Pollution Exposure model to integrate protection of vulnerable groups into the UK Clean Air Programme
- AIRLESS: The Effects Of AIR Pollution On Cardiopulmonary Disease In Urban & Peri-Urban Residents In Beijing
- AERIAL: The impact of maternal exposure to air pollution on placental function and foetal brain development using modelling and personalised monitoring
- Assessing the impact of the Mayor's schools air quality audit recommendations in reducing pupils' exposure to poor air quality feasibility and base line data collection
- Breathe London: Wearables
- CAPPA: Children's Air Pollution Profiles in Africa
- Cognitive DeveLopment in the Urban Environment (The CLUE study)
- COPE: Characterisation of COPD exacerbations using environmental exposure modelling
- DEMiSt – The driver Diesel Exposure Mitigation Study
- DREaM: Component-Specific Air pollutant Drivers of Disease Risk in Early to Midlife: a pathway approach
- EPOCH - The impact of the Environment and Pollution On Cognitive Health
- HKD3D – A Dynamic 3D exposure model for Hong Kong
- IDEA-AIR network – an interdisciplinary international collaboration to investigate the role of air pollution in the development of depression in adolescence
- MELONS - Investigating the consequences of measurement error of gradually more sophisticated long-term personal exposure models in assessing health effects
- My house, my rules: Co-designing residential air pollution research
- PRECISE-DYAD: linking maternal and infant health trajectories in sub-Saharan Africa
- STEAM – Spatio-Temporal Exposure Assessment Methods for estimating the health effects of air pollution