Environmental Research Group

Creating cleaner, healthier air

Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK. The Environmental Research Group is improving our understanding of emissions and pollution – helping to make the planet cleaner, greener and healthier.

Our grant of £158,554 will help generate more essential information about emissions. Currently, what’s known about emissions comes mainly from laboratory tests which, while very accurate, are not capable of capturing the diversity of sources or the rate of emissions in real-world conditions.

  • In the UK, 20% of the population live in the 10% most polluted areas.
  • Our grant will help us learn more about air pollution, the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK –between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths a year are attributed to long-term exposure.
  • The Environmental Research Group (ERG), part of Imperial College London’s School of Public Health, is a leading provider of air and water quality information and research in the UK.

Advances in technology

Recent advances in technology have reduced the size, and improved the accuracy, of the instruments used to measure emissions. Our funding has helped to buy new types of equipment and supporting hardware, which are transportable and can measure emissions directly from sources in real-world conditions.

The Environmental Research Group works closely with those responsible for air quality management, supporting policies and actions that will minimise the impact of air pollution on our health. The improved understanding made possible from this new equipment will in turn lead to more targeted reduction of emissions.

“The incorporation of this facility into the measurement and modelling capabilities of the Environmental Research Group has led to a step change in our ability to quantify the emissions and health impacts that we are exposed to in the urban environment. These include domestic wood burning, non-exhaust vehicle emissions, cooking and travelling on trains. This has already resulted in a significantly improved understanding of the sources of poor air quality that affect communities in the UK.” 

Dr David Green, Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Research Group

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