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University scientists battle against global air pollution

A team of scientists at Loughborough University is using artificial intelligence (AI) to help predict future air pollution levels.

The project is being led by Professor Qinggang Meng and Dr Baihua Li, who are using public historic data collected in Beijing as a way to test out their research model.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated seven million people die from air pollution every year.

Professor Meng said:

Air pollution is a long-term accumulated challenge faced by the whole world, and especially in many developing countries.

We hope this research will help lead to cleaner air for the community and improve people’s health in the future.

The news comes off the back of a recent study in the UK by the British Heart Foundation, which predicted that 160,000 could die from air pollution in the next decade.

The team hopes that the project will provide new insight into the environmental factors that impacts air pollution levels.

They will be focusing on the kind of pollution which results in reduced visibility in cities and hazy-looking air when levels are high – otherwise known as ‘particulate matter’.

Particulate matter is a type of air pollutant, which according to experts has the strongest evidence for public health concern. This is because the particles are so small they can easily get into the lungs and then the bloodstream, resulting in cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and respiratory impacts.

The system developed at Loughborough University is part of a wider research project funded by the Newton Fund, which champions economic development and social welfare for the benefit of communities. The wider project is exploring how carbon can be used as a tradeable commodity to establish a new effective economic leverage for bringing down emissions.

 

 Photo by AJ Nakasone from Pexels  

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