One of the key goals of the MRC Centre is to translate and apply the findings from our research, as well as the broader scientific knowledge in our areas of expertise, to inform important policy questions on environment and health.
Centre members are actively engaged in a variety of advisory and policy roles, providing expert input to government and public health agencies. These activities promote the development of science-based policies on environment and health at a national and international level. We focus our policy-related work in three overlapping strategic areas: air pollution sources and health impacts; disease and risk factor surveillance; and risk assessment.
We use a variety of mechanisms to translate our research in the strategic areas listed above and to engage with our key stakeholders, including through focussed work supporting government committees, risk assessment and systematic reviews:
- Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) (Member: Professor Klea Katsouyanni, Dr Ian Mudway and Dr Heather Walton)
- Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) (Member: Professor Mireille B. Toledano)
- Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) (Member: Professor Mireille B. Toledano)
- Systematic reviews in key Centre areas, specifically in toxicology and carcinogenicity, and the health effects of air pollution. (for related publications on systematic reviews click here)
- Development and application of tools, methods and models for risk assessment and disease surveillance, for example, redeveloping Rapid Inquiry Facility (RIF) software: platform facilitating disease mapping & risk analysis.
- Collaborative research with colleagues in UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)
- Global surveillance of non-communicable disease (NCD) risk factors, through the WHO Collaborating Centre on Non-Communicable Disease Surveillance and Epidemiology (Director: Ezzati)
- Input to WHO Air Quality Guidelines
Examples of policy-relevant reports
- Dajnak, D., Kitwiroon, N., Assareh, N., Evangelopoulos, D., et al. (2022) Pathway to WHO: achieving clean air in the UK. Modelling air quality costs and benefits. Available at: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/school-public-health/environmental-research-group/research/modelling/pathway-to-who/
- Kelly FJ et al. Cognitive decline, dementia and air pollution. A report by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution. (2022) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1090376/COMEAP-dementia-report-2022.pdf
- Walton H, Fuller G, Baker T and Yan L (2020) Exploring the potential of emergency measures to reduce air pollution during air pollution episodes – Overview Report http://erg.ic.ac.uk/research/home/emergency-measures-project.html
- Walton H and Yan L (2020) Health Effects of Short-Term Exposures to Air Pollution With Particular Reference to the Concentration Range on High and Very High Days https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/a_health_effects_of_short_term_exposure_to_air_pollution_nov20.pdf
- Dajnak, D., Evangelopoulos, D., Kitwiroon, Beevers, S., Walton, H., (2021) London Health Burden Of Current Air Pollution And Future Health Benefits Of Mayoral Air Quality Policies http://erg.ic.ac.uk/research/home/projects/tfl-hia-maqp.html
- We also contributed to the following Statements from COMEAP:
Air pollution: quantifying effects on hospital admissions (2022)
Particulate air pollution: quantifying effects on mortality (2022)
Particulate air pollution: health effects of exposure (2022)
- In addition, we contributed to the following special report from the Health Effects Institute (HEI) in the US:
- Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Selected Health Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution (2022) https://www.healtheffects.org/publication/systematic-review-and-meta-analysis-selected-health-effects-long-term-exposure-traffic
- and the Chief Medical Officers Report on air pollution (2022) https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1124738/chief-medical-officers-annual-report-air-pollution-dec-2022.pdf
- In addition, we contributed to reports on ‘A Scientific Perspective on Microplastics in Nature and Society’ (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies), various UK Government reports on air quality and health (COMEAP), and the forthcoming US Health Effects Institute 2022 Traffic Report.