Welcome to the National Institute for Health and Care Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Environmental Exposures and Health at Imperial College London.
We have strong links with the Chemical and Radiation Threats and Hazards HPRU and the MRC Centre for Environment and Health and to ensure we operate as a highly collaborative matrix, analogous to the UK Health Security Agency’s multi-functional, single-agency model, we have created a Joint Steering Committee, Training Programme Committee, Public and Community Involvement, Engagement and Participation Committee and Public and Community Oversight Group.
This HPRU brings together our expertise in air quality measurement and modelling, exposure assessment, conducting large-scale epidemiological studies, biomarkers and disease mechanisms and chemical toxicology of fibres and particles to produce the scientific evidence needed to support the effective protection of the population from these environmental hazards.
The mission of this HPRU is to undertake the highest quality research on the health effects associated with exposure to a range of environmental pollutants, including those in the ambient and indoor settings. Our aims are to improve the understanding of the distribution, determinants and pathways linking these exposures to health effects, to provide scientific evidence that will impact directly on public health practice and policy, and to train the next generation of research leaders in environment and health.
The research programme is organised into four complementary themes focusing on furthering understanding of the risk of ambient and indoor air pollutants on health, by examining a range of adverse endpoints in specific population subgroups (e.g. adverse birth outcomes and cognitive function in school children) and in specific locations (indoor, homes and offices, transport micro-environments including the London Underground).
In addition, we will look at emerging exposure issues including e-cigarettes, microplastics, illicit and herbal drug use and brake and tyre wear toxicology.
Theme I - Challenges
1. What are the exposures to toxicants from all environmental sources and consumer products in different populations?
2. Can models be developed to predict exposure?
3. What is the public perception of risk from these toxicants and how are potential risks best communicated?
Theme III - Challenges
1. What biomarkers emerge following acute exposure to different air pollutants and do they discriminate between different sources?
2. Are non-exhaust PM emissions (brake, tyre and road wear) of toxicological relevance and what are the relative toxicities of exhaust PM and NO2?
3. What are the relative toxicities of e-cigarette components?
Theme II - Challenges
1. What are the impacts of air pollution on birth outcomes, cognitive development, mental health and dementia in later life ?
2. What are the impacts of traffic related air pollution on school children’s neurodevelopment and overall health and to what extent does the ULEZ mitigate against any adverse effects ?
3. What, if any, is the impact of air pollution on the London Underground?
Theme IV - Challenges
1. Do microplastics have detrimental human health effects?
2. What are the potential health consequences of waste fires on local populations?
3. What are the health impacts of living near biomass electricity generating installations or being exposed to waste fire emissions?
A groundbreaking Imperial-led study is looking at indoor exposure to air pollution in more than 100 homes in West London. The WellHome study, led by Imperial College London’s world-leading Environmental Research Group, is a first-of-its-kind community-based study focusing on assessing air quality inside and outside of homes, as well as identifying various contaminants such as chemicals, […]
The NIHR-funded Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs) in Environmental Exposures and Health and Chemical and Radiation Threats and Hazards, together with the MRC Centre for Environment and Health, have announced the three winners of the Public and Community Involvement, Engagement & Participation (PCIEP) 2023 seed fund, who were awarded £1500 each: 1. Sean M Gettings […]
Professor Frank Kelly comments after the High Court decision to allow the ULEZ expansion to proceed. Air Quality News
Professor Frank Kelly shares his insight on the role of ULEZ in tackling child illness and death in London. The Guardian
This year at the Great Exhibition Road Festival (GERF), our researchers from the MRC Centre for Environment and Health and the NIHR HPRUs in Environmental Exposures and Health and in Chemical and Radiation Threats and Hazards engaged with GERF visitors in interactive ways to raise awareness about environmental pollutants, showcase their new research and the […]
The Westminster Commission for Road Air Quality presented the Centre for Low Emission Construction (CLEC) with the award for the Best Air Quality Strategy in recognition of their work with the construction industry in reducing emissions produced by off-grid power generation. The award ceremony took place during the Fleet Vision International Gala Dinner, held at […]