Londoners to wear sensors in air pollution test

Participants from around the capital will be wearing individual pollution monitors to track in real time how their heart and lung function responds to changing pollution in their environment.

A new study, led by Imperial College London with partners at the University of Surrey and the University of Edinburgh, will provide the most detailed account yet of the specific personal health consequences of exposure to different air pollutants in urban environments.

The INHALE study will involve healthy participants as well as those with asthma, to understand a range of sensitivities and responses to pollution. Air pollution is one of the world’s greatest environmental threats, responsible for an estimated seven million deaths every year.

Professor Kian Fan Chung, who is leading the study, said: “The health effects of air pollution have until now been measured in terms of excess mortality or admissions to hospital, but an assessment of effects of environmental pollution at the level of a particular individual is an area that has not yet been fully developed. INHALE will use complex modelling to predict the health outcomes at the personal level from a study of the biological potential of pollution particles through to the individual’s respiratory response and his/her personal exposure in the neighbourhood scale."