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January 16, 2017

Safe indoors? Monitoring and modelling personal exposure to air pollution

Safe indoors Monitoring and modelling personal exposure to air pollution 400 x 400 px

The adverse health effects of air pollution are the main drivers of policies to improve air quality both nationally and internationally. Although many pollutants have health effects, the clearest case has been made for particulate matter (PM), especially ultra-fine PM2.5.

Whether air quality is acceptable is currently based on the use of measurements from a network of outdoor monitoring sites, even though people may actually spend very little of their time outside and susceptibility to pollution varies with things like age and activity. This project aims to move beyond the use of outdoor, ambient pollution levels by collecting information on indoor concentrations and activity patterns to provide better estimates of personal exposure to air pollution within the City of Nottingham.

The first phase will combine the use of personal activity profiles, with indoor measurements and detailed pollution modelling using ADMS-Urban for a sample within Nottingham. This will then form the basis for scaling up to model the whole of the city and develop scenarios exploring the likely implications of changes in transport or housing policy on air quality and exposure levels. The study will be carried out in collaboration with Nottingham City Council (NCC, Pollution Control and Public Health) and Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants (CERC).

NCC will provide access to their own air quality assessments and modelling; CERC will provide training in the use of the model ADMS-Urban. Preference will be given to candidates with skills in GIS and familiarity with the OS MasterMap range of products.

The successful candidate will have to develop a network of volunteers and engage them with the personal exposure monitoring and will be expected to maintain this relationship throughout the period of the studentship. Eligibility: Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK honours degree at 2.1 level or equivalent in subjects such as Geography, Environmental Science or Natural Sciences.

For further details please contact Professor Sarah Metcalfe, sarah.metcalfe@nottingham.ac.uk