Air pollution has reduced considerably since the early 1990s but there is still more to be done to reduce the effects of air pollution on health.
In the UK alone, it is estimated that the burden of long-term exposure to anthropogenic particulate air pollution in 2008 was an effect on mortality equivalent to nearly 29,000 deaths at typical ages and an associated loss of total population life of 340,000 life-years.
Other air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone and volatile organic compounds, have a range of adverse effects on human health.
The Air Pollution and Climate Change (APCC) Group is part of the Toxicology Department of the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (CRCE).
The roles and responsibilities for the APCC Group include provision of research on the health effects of air pollution and climate change, evidence-based advice to internal and external stakeholders, scientific secretariat to expert committees,training and dissemination.
Key research themes of the group are: Health effects of air pollutants, asthma and respiratory allergies, Health effects of climate change, Exposure and risk assessment, Indoor Environment and urban Heat Islands.
Below are some of the air pollution projects of the APCC group.
Advice to the World Health Organization (WHO) on air pollution and health, for example, the 2013 review of evidence on health aspects of air pollution – REVIHAAP. Visit the WHO website www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/air-quality/publications/2013/review-of-evidence-on-health-aspects-of-air-pollution-revihaap-project-final-technical-report [external link]
Scientific Secretariat on behalf of DH for the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP). COMEAP provides expert assessment of the evidence on the effect of different air pollutants on health and recommends concentration-response functions to relate changes in levels of air pollutants to changes in effects on health. www.comeap.org.uk [external link]