Air pollution reaches high levels in parts of England

Professor Frank Kelly (deputy director of the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health and Director of the Environmental Research Group (ERG)) and his team at King's College have been busy disseminating their research and talking with the media about the health impact of air pollution. The media coverage was a result of high levels of air pollution across London and the South East on Monday 31st March 2014, caused by a combination of high level of air pollution already existing in urban areas exacerbated by Saharan dusts and easterly winds, bringing pollutants from mainland Europe.

Professor Frank Kelly, Chair of the Department of Health Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) and a member of DEFRA's Air Quality Expert Group, has been interviewed and featured in the BBC, Guardian, The Independent, FT, Telegraph, Evening Standard etc.

"UK air pollution: How bad is it?” BBC News. Web. 2 Apr. 2014 

"Pupils should stay indoors at lunch to avoid smog, says UK government adviser". The Guardian. Web. 2 Apr. 2014

“Saharan dust and pollution: confusion over health risk from smog cloud”. The Telegraph. Web. 02 Apr. 2014

“What is causing the UK's high levels of air pollution?” The Guardian. Web. 2 Apr. 2014

“Smog over Britain: Air pollution ‘will get worse’ as more drivers choose diesel powered cars.” The Independent. Web. 2. Apr. 2014

 “London air pollution: Saharan dust smog leads to surge in 999 calls”. London Evening Standard. Web. 3 Apr. 2014

“UK smog and air pollution: spike in 999 calls over breathing problems”. The Independent. Web. 3 Apr. 2014

 “Air pollution: youngsters, elderly and vulnerable urged to stay indoors”. The Guardian. 2 Apr. 2014

“UK smog alert: vulnerable people advised to stay indoors”. The Guardian. Web. 2 Apr. 2014 


The Environmental research group (ERG) is also the leading provider of air quality information providing air pollution information to 20% of the United Kingdom population using a network of monitors across the south east of England ( ERG has developed a highly detailed air pollution modelling system that has been instrumental in advising on present and future air pollution in London, as well as strategic traffic management schemes such as London Congestion Charging and the Low Emissions Zone. Members of ERG advise national and regional government on air pollution issues and are members of the WHO and DEFRA committees advising on health based air pollution standards. Research within the group has led to a ‘unified theory’ of oxidative stress to explain the underlying mechanism(s) by which air pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particles affect public health.

Dr. Gary Fuller and Dr. Benjamin Barratt who manage the development of the London Air Quality Network (LAQN) were interviewed by This Morning (ITV) on 3rd April 2014 and BBC’s One Show aired on Wednesday 2nd April 2014 respectively to talk about the current air pollution episode. 

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