Nanoparticles and Health
He has been active in understanding the health impacts of particles below a micron in size (nanoparticles are <100 nano metres in size) for many years. Recently with colleagues in Biological Sciences and with the University of Aberdeen he has gained a NERC/MRC grant on the nanoparticles. We will measure levels of metallic nanoparticles in ambient air, characterise them physioc-chemically, track how they enter cells and then measure their toxicity bit in cellular systems and in intact organisms.
Outdoor Air Pollution
He has been researching the effects of outdoor air pollution since the late 1980s and was responsible for the first UK study which informed Government on the size of the health effect in the UK. His research is now largely based on epidemiological studies but in the past human challenge studies have yielded significant and important information both on particulate exposures and gaseous exposures.
Indoor Air Pollutions
Biomas smoke exposure
Through work in Nepal and Malawi he has shown the effects of differential toxicity from different solid fuels (notably animal dung and wood) and their impact on health. Work in Nepal has shown by teenage years there is an effect on lung function suggesting an influence on lung growth.
Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure
He has conducted work both in Scotland and England on the effects of the smoking bans on the health of bar workers showing a marked reduction in respiratory symptoms even in those bar workers who themselves continued actively to smoke. One key paper showed a reduction in admissions for asthma in children following the ban in Scotland which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010. These findings suggest that side stream smoke is considerably more toxic than main stream smoke on a mass for mass basis.
He is currently involved in two research projects which consider different aspects of occupation and COPD. An HSE funded study (led by Imperial College) will define the contribution of occupational exposures to the development of COPD while an NIHR funded cohort of 2000 COPD patients is being set up in Birmingham one component of which is to look, in those still at work, how COPD influences work capability in terms of absenteeism and presenteeism. This is the first such prospective study of its type in COPD, the only chronic disease which is increasing worldwide.
de Hartog JJ, Ayres JG , Karakatsani A, Analitis A, ten Brink H, Hameri K, Harrison R, Katsouyanni K, Kotronarou N, Kavouras I, Meddings C, Pekkanen J, Hoek G. Indoor and outdoor fine and ultrafine particles in relation to lung function in asthma / COPD patients in four European cities. OEM 2010;67:2-10
Wood AM, Harrison RM, Semple S, Ayres JG, Stockley RA. Particulate matter is associated with rapid decline of lung function in alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency. OEM 2010;67:556-61.
Mackay D, Haw S, Ayres JG, Fischbacher C, Pell JP. Impact of comprehensive, smoke-free legislation on the incidence of childhood asthma. NEJM 2010;363:1139-45
Tagieyeva N, Devereux GS, Henderson J, Sherriff A, Elias P, Ayres JG. Reconstructing past occupational exposures: How reliable are women’s reports of their partner’s occupation? OEM 2010 doi:10.1136/oem.2009.052506
Ayres JG, Boyd R, Cowie H, Hurley F. The costs of occupational asthma. Thorax 2011;66:128-33.
Paudyal P, Semple S, Niven R, Tavernier G, Ayres JG. Exposure to dust and endotoxin in textile processing workers. Ann Occ Hyg 2011 doi:10.1093/annhyg/meq084
Steiner M, Scaife A, Semple S, Dick F, Ayres JG. High prevalence of skin symptoms among workers in a craft bakery. Occ Med 2011 2011;61:280–2
Price D, Musgrave S, Sims E, Shepstone L, Blyth A, Murdoch J, Wilson E, Mugford M, Juniper E, Ayres JG, Wolfe S, Freeman D, Lipp A, Gilbert R, Harvey I. Leukotriene antagonists for patients with uncontrolled asthma initiating controller therapy or add-on therapy to inhaled corticosteroids: 2-year trial. NEJM 2011;364:1695-707.