INHALE pollution project. Version 1.0

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    INHALE: Personal pollution exposure and effects on the lungs in healthy and asthmatic individuals



  • Contact name

    Kian Fan Chung

  • Contact email


  • Sponsor organisation

    Joint Research Compliance Office, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    3 years, 0 months, 0 days

  • Research summary

    Exposure to air pollution inside and outside the home is the largest environmental risk factor worldwide leading to a reduced life expectancy. In a study funded by the Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council, we will assess the impact of pollution on personal health by developing a combined approach from examining the composition of pollutants that determine cell and tissue damage, and their effects on the lungs and on people's health. We will trace the pollution particles from inhalation into the lungs down to effects on individual cells in the body.
    We will recruit 40 healthy and 40 subjects suffering from asthma who live or work in the West London area who will be monitored for their personal exposure to pollution and their response to pollutants by continuous measurement of breathing rate and flow rates with physical activities over a 2 periods of 2 weeks each over one year. They will be recording their symptoms and lung function daily. At the end of each 2 week period, we will collect sputum, urine and blood samples for measurement of inflammation, biomarkers and proteins. Nasal epithelial cells will be obtained by nasal curettage and placed in culture to analyse the effect of pollution particles. In some participants, we will perform fibreoptic bronchoscopy to obtain lower airway cells to examine their interactions with particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM0.1). The whole data will be integrated to assess particle deposition and effects outcomes on respiratory health. One focus of the analysis will be on the immediate micro-environment (~20m) around a person.
    The integrated modelling will represent various intervention scenarios such as roadside green hedges or medication for asthmatics to assess reduced exposure and corresponding changes in health outcomes. This research may lead to effective interventions that could mitigate the detrimental effects of air pollution.

  • REC name

    London - Dulwich Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    18 Dec 2019

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion

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