Air Pollution and Health in the Era of the Exposome


Air Pollution and Health in the Era of the Exposome

Wed, 05/12/2018 - 14:30 to 15:30


Miranda Loh
Senior Scientist at the Institute of Occupational Medicine

In 2015, an estimated 9 million premature deaths were caused by pollution, with air pollution as the leading environmental risk factor. The potential environmental burden of disease could be even larger, as there are still many unknown causes of disease. Much of this uncertainty around the cause of diseases comes from poor description of environmental exposures in epidemiological studies. Current research into characterising the exposome, the sum total of all exposures through an individual’s lifetime, aims at improving exposure science and our understanding of the relationships between environment and health. Air pollution provides a useful context to explore the application of exposome methods, both using data from sensors (such as ‘low-cost’ air pollution sensors and smart technologies) and internal biomarkers of exposure. This talk will address research into air pollution and other environmental exposures, particularly in developing countries, and how the exposome framework might help us better understand the relationship between environment and health.


Dr. Miranda Loh is a Senior Scientist working in the Centre for Human Exposure Science of the Research Division at the Institute of Occupational Medicine. She has expertise in methods for environmental exposure assessment in epidemiology and risk studies. She is particularly interested in using sensors to evaluate both personal activities, which may affect their exposures to environmental factors, and environmental factors themselves. She has been involved in evaluating air pollution and physical activity sensors and is using a multi-stressor indoor and personal exposure assessment system, based on sensor technology, that can be used in exposome studies as part of the Health and Environment-wide Associations based on Large Population Surveys (HEALS) study, funded by the European Union. Her work on environmental health extends also to Asia, as the Principal Investigator for the Air Pollution Impacts on Cardiopulmonary disease in Beijing: An integrated study of Exposure Science, Toxicogenomics & Environmental Epidemiology (APIC-ESTEE) funded by the British Natural Environment Research Council, the Medical Research Council, and China’s National Natural Science Foundation. She is also involved in UKRI funded air pollution exposure and health projects in India and Thailand and a public engagement project around air pollution and health in Kenya. Past projects include assessment of metals exposures of children living near a hazardous waste site in a former mining community and measurement and modelling of exposures and risk to volatile organic compounds.