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Published: 14 August 2019

£2.79m partnership to understand and tackle the human cost of pollution

The University of Surrey has been awarded a share of a £2.79million grant by the EPSRC to investigate the impact indoor and outdoor pollution has on people’s physical health.

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Power station with large amounts of smoke pouring from the top

Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) will work with Imperial College London and other partners to develop a multi-scale approach – cell, lung and person – that will focus on the immediate impact of pollution in the micro-environment (~20m) around a person.

The INHALE projectHealth Assessment across Biological Length Scales for Personal Pollution Exposure and Its Mitigation – will see the team examine the biological and physical aspects of pollutants that determine their cellular fate, their potential for cell and tissue damage, and how this relates to health outcomes.

Professor Prashant Kumar, Director of GCARE at the University of Surrey, said: “We are incredibly excited and proud to take part in this multidisciplinary project that aims to understand just how air pollution affects our health on a micro and a macro level. As the world wakes up to the perils of climate change and the damage it does to our planet and human lives – we hope that this project will move us closer to building a world where clean air is available to all.”

Professor Fan Chung, co-lead on the INHALE project from Imperial College London, said: “INHALE will link Imperial College London with partners to execute a very exciting novel systems approach that will define the detrimental effects of environmental pollution on the respiratory system at the level of the individual person.” 

Professor Christopher Pain, co-lead on the INHALE project from Imperial College London, said: “We will quantify the effects of pollution exposure at an individual level and integrate every aspect of physics-based modelling of passive pollution mitigation options such as green infrastructure at the neighbourhood to personal scale and from the lung level to cells in the individual. We look forward to further extending the close collaboration we have with Universities of Surrey as well as the Edinburgh.”