As a densely populated city with major air quality issues, and high levels of childhood asthma, London provides an excellent environment for a major research programme into pollution and respiratory health.
The EXHALE programme, (Exploration of Health and Lungs in the Environment) involves children from East London, who researchers believe are most at risk from the negative effects of pollution on respiratory health. Researchers are studying the links between air pollution and vitamin D deficiency, and their impact on the respiratory health of children in east London.
Researchers involved in the study will also investigate how air pollutants and vitamin D deficiency interact to enhance airway inflammation, and aim to identify new ways to investigate airway inflammation using imaging techniques.
The findings will help to inform government policies nationally and internationally as well as answer important questions about asthma. These include the role of genetic factors, and how pollutants deposit in the lungs and damage respiratory cells.
The research is being carried out by researchers and clinicians working in the BRC, the MRC-Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
This study follows the introduction of the world’s largest Low Emission Zone in Greater London in 2008, providing researchers with a unique opportunity to study the health impact of reduced vehicle emissions.
Read the latest newsletter about this study