More than 3000 primary school children in London and Luton will have their lung health monitored over a 4-year period in a new study led by Queen Mary University of London and launched last Friday (8 June) by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. The study is the first in the world to test the effect of targeted pollution control measures on the long-term health of children.
The Children's Health in London & Luton (CHILL) study, which is being funded by the National Institute for Health Research, will test whether policies to improve air quality, such as London's new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), are associated with improved lung development and reduced chest symptoms in children. The ULEZ initiative, due to start in London in April 2019, will require vehicles traveling within the zone to meet exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge for access.
CHILL will compare the health of 2 large groups of primary school children (aged 6-9 years). Annual health checks and spirometry will be performed over 4 years. Data on GP and A&E attendance, rates of respiratory infections, and respiratory-related hospital admissions will also be collected, along with data on air pollution to which each child has been exposed over the 4 years, including exposure to nitrogen oxides and particulates such as PM2.5 and PM10.
Professor Frank Kelly from King's College London said: "London's Ultra Low Emission Zone is a bold and world-leading initiative with the potential for big impacts on London's air quality and the health of London's children. It is important that it's rigorously evaluated."
More information, including how to join the study, can be found on the CHILL website: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/chill/