The APHH Project descriptions & Scientific aims

A joint UK-China programme funded by NERC-MRC-NSFC-Newton Fund

The Atmospheric Pollution & Human Health in a Chinese Megacity (APHH China) programme aims to; identify the concentrations and sources of urban air pollution in Beijing, identify how people are exposed, to understand how it affects their health, and to determine what can be done about it. The five four-year research projects within the programme are funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

View the projects awarded funding

A number of UK universities are working to address air pollution sources in Beijing, collaborating with leading Chinese institutions such as; Tsinghua and Peking universities and the Institute for Atmospheric Physics and Guangzhou Institute for Geochemistry within the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Projects and associated work packages (WP):

  1. Sources and emissions of air pollutants in Beijing (AIRPOLL-Beijing)
  2. An integrated study of air pollution processes in Beijing (AIRPRO)
  3. Air pollution impacts on cardiopulmonary disease in Beijing: An integrated study of exposure science, toxicogenomics and environmental epidemiology (APIC-ESTEE)
  4. Effects of air pollution on cardiopulmonary disease in urban and peri-urban residents in Beijing (AIRLESS)
  5. Integrated assessment of the emission-health-socioeconomics nexus and air pollution mitigation solutions and interventions in Beijing (INHANCE)

Scientific aims

  • Determine the emission fluxes of key air pollutants and to measure the contributions of different sources, economic sectors and regional transport to air pollution in Beijing
  •  Assess whether the processes by which pollutants are transformed or removed through transport, chemical reactions and photolysis and the rates of formation and conversion of particulate matter via atmospheric reactions
  • Quantify how the detailed properties of particulate matter evolve and can influence their physical properties and behaviour in the atmosphere and elucidate the mechanisms whereby those properties may interact and feedback on urban scale and regional meteorology
  • To determine exposure of Beijing inhabitants to key health related pollutants using personal air pollution monitors and assess the associated between air pollution exposure and key cardiopulmonary measures 
  •  Determine the contribution of specific activities, environments and pollution sources to the personal exposure of the Beijing population to air pollutants derived from outdoor sources
  •  Carry out toxicogenomics and exposure genomics research, analyse genomics, epigenetics and metabolomics changes and examine screening biomarkers of exposure and effect
  • Determine whether Beijing can achieve the APEC Blue’ by only reducing emissions from production sources and economic loss due to both physical and mental impacts of air pollution