‘Trailblazing’ air monitoring station is unveiled at Falmer

Dr Smallbone, Caroline Lucas and Dr Kevin Wyche, with the air pollution monitor at the University of Brighton
Dr Smallbone, Caroline Lucas and Dr Kevin Wyche, with the air pollution monitor at the University of Brighton

The University of Brighton has set up a £250,000 advanced air quality monitoring station.

The University of Brighton has set up a £250,000 advanced air quality monitoring station, the first of its kind in the UK dedicated to the detection of harmful nano-sized particles.

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, officially opened the station on Friday (December 18) and praised the university for its “trailblazing” research.

Ms Lucas said: “One of the lessons I have learned is that although air pollution quite often is invisible it really is a massive problem. It is responsible for literally thousands of premature deaths.

What will come out of this research, I hope, will be more pressure on policy makers to take more action to reduce air pollution.”

The university’s Air Environment Research team believes the station, on the Falmer campus, will ‘enhance our understanding of the harmful air pollutants that we breathe’.

Dr Kevin Wyche and Dr Kirsty Smallbone, the project’s lead scientists, said: “Poor air quality is believed to result in around 50,000 deaths per year in the UK. Brighton is still exceeding air quality limits set by the government. It is crucial that we enhance our understanding of the relationships that exist between pollutants and health, and the Brighton Joaquin Advanced Air Quality Station will provide a solid platform for us to do just this.”

Falmer was chosen as “if you are in the middle of the city, kerbside, on a specific major road or adjacent to any other such source, measurements will be biased rather than representing a more general average.”