The Joaquin Advanced Air Quality Station (JAAQS), opened by Brighton MP Caroline Lucas, is the first in the UK which can detect harmful nano-sized particles and their gaseous precursors.
Dr Wyche expects to publish its first year’s findings from the station in the next few weeks and there are plans for UK’s first outreach programme taking their work into primary and secondary schools. A website on the station’s work is scheduled to be launched next month.
At the station’s launch, Dr Wyche and Dr Smallbone, 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. The World Health Authority reported that outdoor air pollution kills more people worldwide than road traffic accidents, smoking and diabetes combined.
“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 JAAQS 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.”