Dr Kevin Wyche and Dr Kirsty Smallbone, the projects’ lead scientists from the university’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences, experts in atmospheric science, said: “Poor air quality is believed to result in around 50,000 deaths per year in the UK, according to Public Health England, and is thought to reduce people’s life expectancy by an average of nine months across the European Union.
“Additionally, the World Health Authority reported that outdoor air pollution kills more people worldwide than road traffic accidents, smoking and diabetes combined.
“Brighton is still exceeding air quality limits set by the government.
“In light of such dramatic statistics and estimates, it is crucial that we enhance our understanding of the relationships that exist between pollutants and health, and the Brighton Joaquin Advanced Air Quality Station will provide a solid platform for us to do just this; it will provide unparalleled insight into the kinds of pollutants we breathe, their complex interactions and how they evolve.
“It will give us the unique ability to provide policy makers, scientists and the general public with the vital information required to help improve the quality of our air and protect our health.”
Dr Kirsty Smallbone, MP Caroline Lucas and Dr Kevin Wyche inside the air quality monitoring station
They said Falmer was chosen as it represents a genuine background; “If you are in the middle of the city, kerbside on a specific major road or adjacent to any other such source, measurements will be biased by that source rather than representing a more general average.”
Find out more about the university’s environment research.