Working to reduce air pollution
Across Asia, many people live with severe air pollution, but depending on age, gender and circumstances, some have to endure far more than others. The level of exposure can vary depending on whether you’re male or female, rich or poor, elderly or young, and the sources of air pollution are also vastly different between countries.
In north-east China, air pollution is worst during winter and spring when low-efficiency coal-fired heating systems are widely used in poorly designed houses. Older women who spend the most time at home and also cook for the family are at the highest risk.
Working with Harbin Institute of Technology, Dr Luo’s research has investigated inequalities related to air pollution in rural north-east China. The research team have carried out field measurements of air pollution in different types of housing to compare the exposure profile and environmental inequality within each, and design low-cost methods to reduce exposure and inequality using the data collected.
Connecting the evidence from this pilot project in China with ongoing research in other cities in Asia will assure that the data will continue to be analysed and used, extending the impact far beyond the end of the project. The study will create the foundation for future research on environmental inequality in Asian countries, which is an under-explored area for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.