• Air quality centre to study pollution's effects on health

Air Monitoring

Air quality centre to study pollution's effects on health

Jun 01 2009

A new £5 million research centre has opened in London with the aim of studying the effects of poor air quality and other pollutants on health.

The Centre for Environment and Health at Imperial College London and Kings College London is jointly funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA) and will analyse the health effects of pollutants ranging from traffic fumes to byproducts in water.

Focussing on vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly, the centre will examine links between pollution and cancer, respiratory problems and heart disease. It is hoped that the researchers will be able to build up a catalogue of studies into what is a relatively unexplored area.

"It's quite difficult to work out whether certain pollutants are affecting our health because we are exposed to so many, over such long periods of time," said Professor Paul Elliott from Imperial College London, the centre's director, adding that the teams will develop methods to analyse "many thousands of people".

Staff at the centre will be working closely with colleagues at the Small Area Health Statistics Unit and the Environmental Research Group.

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