Clean Air Theme

Working globally to improve air quality

Air pollution is the largest environmental cause of non-communicable disease and worldwide leads to over 8 million premature deaths annually, more than malaria and HIV-AIDS combined. Within the UK, ambient (outdoor) air pollution leads to around 34,000 deaths/year and reduces average life expectancy by four to six months, with associated direct and indirect economic costs on productivity and livelihoods approaching £20 billion. Poor air quality disproportionately impacts low- and middle-income nations, who face the challenge of achieving a sustainable development pathway and which experience the greatest environmental, social and health inequalities across their populations. Delivering clean air solutions at a global scale is essential for the protection of public health and achievement of environmental justice, including progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and also contributes to climate change mitigation.

IGI Clean Air

The emerging Clean Air theme will create new, internationally leading and excellent interdisciplinary clean air research, publications and impact, drawing upon a track record of existing University of Birmingham academic, policy-focused and engagement activities. 

Theme led by Professor William Bloss and Dr Suzanne Bartington 

Workstream leads:

Air Pollution and Human Health – Dr Semira Manaseki-Holland, Professor Alice Turner

Clean Air Solutions – Professor Aleks Cavoski, Dr Jason Stafford

Indoor Air Quality – Professor Zongbo ShiProfessor Alice Turner

Engagement and Involvement – Professor John R. BrysonDr Emma Ferranti 


The University of Birmingham continues to grow its research capacity in air pollution and human health across the United Kingdom and in affected low- and middle-income countries worldwide. In doing so, it will play a vital role in providing the air quality data and science to inform policy-makers and protect the public health of citizens in the world’s emerging cities, supporting the emergence of low-pollution development models and clean air solutions.


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