Our proposed research will advance knowledge about the health effects of exposure to environmental risk factors and influences, such as air pollution, green space, noise, urban environments, energy transitions, social connectedness, walkability. We will use air pollution exposures as our first and priority analysis, but also explore the health impact of these other environmental factors. We have used air pollution as an example to detail our study methods in this application.

The overall goal of our work is to enable cost-benefit analyses for environmental planning and control by establishing valid and precise estimates for the position and shape of the air pollution exposure concentration – adverse health effect response functions for particulates and for gaseous air pollutants in the low to moderate exposure range.

The specific objectives are:

1. To describe the shape, position and precision of the curvilinear functions relating long-term exposure concentrations of
• mass of particulate matter less than 2.5 µm in diameter (PM2.5);
• mass of particulate matter less than 10 µm in diameter (PM10);
• nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and;
• ozone (O3)
to the risk of:
• Mortality (all causes);
• Mortality due to specific causes: (a) cardiovascular disease; (b) stroke; (c) respiratory disease; and (d) lung cancer;
• Hospitalisation for: (a) cardiovascular disease; and (b) respiratory disease; and
• Incident cancer: (a) all types, and (b) lung cancer.

In doing so, we will seek to identify the level of any threshold, if one exists. We also aim:

2. To estimate the effect of the following attributes on the shape and position of the concentration-response functions:
i. Age group;
ii. Socio-economic disadvantage;
iii. Pre-existing cardiovascular or respiratory illness;
iv. Cardiovascular risk profile;
v. Rural vs urban location; and
vi. The level of co-pollutant exposure.