08/02/2021 Medicine
DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.04.21251049 SemanticScholar ID: 231840976

Investigating the impact of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone on children’s health: Children’s Health in London and Luton (CHILL): Protocol for a prospective parallel cohort study

Publication Summary

IntroductionAir pollution harms health across the life course. Children are at particular risk of adverse effects during development, which may impact on health in later life. Interventions that improve air quality are therefore urgently needed not only to improve public health now, but to prevent longer-term increased vulnerability to chronic disease. Low Emission Zones are a public health policy intervention aimed at reducing traffic-derived contributions to urban air pollution, but evidence that they deliver clear health benefits is lacking. We established a natural experiment design study (CHILL: Childrens Health in London and Luton) to evaluate the impacts of the introduction of Londons Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) on childrens health. Methods and analysisCHILL is a prospective two-arm parallel longitudinal cohort study of children aged 6-9 years, attending primary schools in Central London (the focus of the first phase of the ULEZ) and Luton (a comparator site). The primary goal of the study is to examine the impact of changes in annual air pollutant exposures as oxides of nitrogen, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter less than 2.5microns and 10microns (NOx, NO2, PM2.5, PM10 respectively) across the two sites on lung growth, measured as forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC), over four consecutive years. Secondary outcomes being investigated include a range of respiratory health indicators as well as inequality and health economic measures. Ethics and disseminationEthics approval has been given by Queen Mary University of London Research Ethics Committee (ref 2018/08). Dissemination will target audiences through a variety of channels, including research papers, conference and media presentations, web summaries and social media. CHILL is funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research (Ref 16/139/09) with additional funding by Natural Environment Research Council, NIHR CLAHRC North Thames, NIHR ARC North Thames, and the Mayor of London. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04695093 Strengths and limitations of this studyO_ST_ABSStrengthsC_ST_ABSO_LICHILL uses a prospective parallel cohort design, allowing robust conclusions to be drawn on the impact of the ULEZ - a major city-wide air quality mitigation strategy - on air quality and childrens respiratory health. C_LIO_LICHILL study cohorts include children from large and ethnically diverse populations living in urban areas characterised by poor air quality. C_LI LimitationsO_LIAttrition of study cohort population over time, although this has been accounted for in the original design of the study. C_LIO_LIPotential diminution of the ULEZ air pollution signal due to pre-compliance with ULEZ restrictions in the run up to the introduction of the scheme in Central London on the 8th April 2019, and minor impacts of other pollution mitigation measures. C_LIO_LIAdded complexity of accounting for effects of COVID-19 and related lockdowns on traffic flows, air quality and childrens health. C_LI

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Mark Mon-Williams

Prof. Mark Mon-Williams

University of Leeds - Chair in Cognitive Psychology

Avatar Image for John Wright

Prof. John Wright

Bradford Institute for Health Research - Chief Investigator Born in Bradford

Share this

Next publication

2009 Psychology

The Dynamics of Category Conjunctions

R. Hutter, R. Crisp, G. Humphreys, Gillian. M. Waters + 1 more