The protection of human health is an underlying theme in many aspects of our environmental research. We develop improved methods of assessing risks by better understanding of the behaviour of contaminants in the environment and the importance of pathways of human exposure. This knowledge is combined with the theoretical and experimental (in vitro) assessment of the toxicology of chemicals and particles.

A healthy environment is essential for the health and wellbeing of people and we are concerned with preventing pollution of our soils, water and air, and thereby minimising exposure of people to hazardous substances. 

Monitoring and controlling emissions of harmful pollutants such as toxic metals, organic chemicals, particles (including fungal spores) and combustion gases is undertaken to understand exposure, and this knowledge is combined with assessment of the toxicity of substances to evaluate risk and identify appropriate control measures. 

The impact of climate change on health through direct effects of temperature on people, and indirect through changing environmental systems, is of current high concern. As people spend most of their time in built environments, our research ranges from exposure to chemicals from consumer products, to the quality of air in aircraft cabins.

About our research

Experimental and desk based studies to understand the sources and levels of contaminants in the environment and to quantify pathways of human exposure to assess the risks to human health.

Well equipped analytical facilities for measurement of contaminants in water, soil and air, modelling packages to assess pathways in the environment and in vitro toxicology capability along with expertise in risk assessment. Large scale test facilities including university water treatment works and capability to prepare and characterise nanomaterials.

Much of our research directly informs regulators and thereby the development and implementation of measures to control the release of hazardous substances in the environment that are a risk to human health.

Our work is published widely in peer reviewed journals and conferences and our senior staff serve on a number of European and national expert groups that advise on new standards and regulation as well as identify priorities for further research.

Our clients include water authorities, Central government (e.g. DEfra, DH, DfT, HSE), Industrial associations (such as CEFIC, ECFIA), European government (EU framework research projects), EFSA and UK research bodies.

Working with us

Cranfield specialises in applied research in all activities and environment and health is no exception. We conduct studies for water authorities on treatment processes and water regulators to identify and assess emerging pollution issues.

We advise government departments for example by evaluating the latest research on endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment. We work with industry such as for the evaluation of the toxicology of fibres and metals.

There are a range of methods to work with Cranfield ranging from use of postgraduate students to conduct blue sky or applied research to well defined consultancy projects that take advantage of our specialist scientists to conduct clearly defined investigations.

We undertake projects for individual businesses and also research associations. The work can be focussed on open publication outputs or provision of data within standard non-disclosure agreements.