Collaboration with African Population and Health Research Centre, Coventry University, Durham University, Institute of Occupational Medicine, International Institute for Environment and Development, Kenyatta University, Loughborough University, Shack/Slum Dwellers International, St Mary's University College, Twickenham, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of Glasgow, University of Manchester, University of Portsmouth and University of York.
Air pollution is a major health concern around the world. Particulate matter (abbreviated as PM) is the mostly invisible particles in the air that stem from burning fuels such as charcoal, wood, petrol, kerosene. Every breath a person takes contains PM and PM is the type of air pollution that most commonly causes ill health. The smallest PM is known as fine PM or PM2.5 - the particles are only 2.5 microns (2.5 millionths of a metre) or less in diameter. These particles are so small that they can be inhaled deep into the lungs. In Africa alone, PM2.5 causes 670,000 premature deaths annually. As well as reducing life expectancy, it lowers the quality of life through respiratory and cardiovascular diseases often leading to a reduction in the resilience and productivity of people. Levels of this air pollutant are particularly high in informal settlements
(sometimes referred to as slums), both outdoor and indoor: outdoor due to the location of settlements which is often near to industrial areas, busy and dusty roads, and sites of litter burning, and indoor due to cooking, lighting and heating with lowquality fuels in badly ventilated huts.