Air Pollution

We are working with partners across the globe to understand how to save lives at risk from poor air quality.

The University of Birmingham is forging international and interdisciplinary partnerships to help meet the global challenge of air pollution, in order to control emissions and reduce public-health impacts. Birmingham’s strength lies not only in establishing causes of air pollution, but in applying that learning to provide science advice in support of policy development.

Research into air pollution in the United Kingdom is supported by three new air quality supersites across the country, one of which is based at the University of Birmingham campus. The supersites use state-of-the-art monitoring systems to identify harmful pollutants more accurately than ever before.

Working globally to improve air quality

We are working in Delhi, rated as the most polluted city in the world for ambient air pollution by the World Health Organisation, to determine the sources and processes responsible. We are taking a systems approach to develop options to mitigate air pollution. This will allow us to assess the likely effectiveness of changes in behaviour — for example odd/even number plate traffic bans — to improve air quality.

In China, Professor Roy Harrison (leading international expert in the sources, transformations and health impacts of air pollution) and Dr Zongbo Shi are leading collaborations with top universities and research institutes in the area of atmospheric science - looking at the causes and impacts of poor air quality and atmospheric pollution events in Beijing, and the prediction of future extreme weather events in China and East Asia.

The University is also leading a major international research project looking at how rapid urbanisation in three African cities — Addis Ababa, Kampala and Nairobi — impacts upon air quality.

“Improving air quality across the West Midlands will bring direct health benefits to millions of people, reduce direct and indirect economic costs and enhance quality of life. The WM-Air project will bring together the latest environmental science from air pollution, health and economic research experts, to support policy makers, key industry bodies and businesses to help reduce the impacts of air pollution in the region, and support clean growth.”

Professor William Bloss

Professor William Bloss

Professor of Atmospheric Science

Discover more

  • Tackling Air Pollution

    We are working to understand how to save lives at risk from air pollution.

  • WM-Air

    A new initiative to support the improvement of air quality, and associated health, environmental and economic benefits, in the West Midlands.

  • The Environmental Health Sciences Group

    The group is led by Professor Roy Harrison who also leads the Division of Environmental Health and Risk Management (DEHRM), a multi-disciplinary research and teaching centre.

  • Air Pollution and Human Health in a Developing Megacity

    High levels of air pollution pose a serious health risk to inhabitants of many Chinese cities, leading to reductions in life expectancy for millions of people.

  • Key staff

    Find out about our researchers who work collaboratively within this field

  • Policy experts

    University of Birmingham researchers and academic experts are working across all major policy areas, this guide aims to enable policy makers to contact researchers quickly and efficiently.

  • Media experts

    The University of Birmingham is one of the UK's leading universities for research and can offer expertise to the media on many different subjects.