Quantification of Air Pollution Risk (QUARK)

Quantification of the health impacts of air pollution

The QUARK subgroup was set up to prepare a series of reports on quantification for COMEAP. The first QUARK subgroup (QUARK I) prepared reports for COMEAP from 1998 to 2001 and the current QUARK subgroup (QUARK II) prepared a report published by COMEAP in 2009. The committee are shortly due to publish a report, prepared by QUARK II, quantifying the effects on mortality due to long-term exposure to particulate matter. Work on quantifying the effects on morbidity of both long and short-term exposure to air pollution is also underway.


The members of QUARK are Mr J F Hurley (QUARK chair), Professor H R Anderson, Dr R Atkinson, Professor J G Ayres, Professor R G Derwent, Professor S Holgate, Professor V Stone,  Mr J Stedman and Dr Brian Miller

Professor Peter Burney (ex-COMEAP member), Mr Ben Armstrong (ex-COMEAP member), Professor David Strachan (ex-COMEAP member) and Dr Heather Walton have been co-opted to the QUARK subgroup.


'The Mortality Effects of Long-term exposure to particulate air pollution in the United Kingdom'

Published December 2010

As a follow-up to the COMEAP 2009 report 'Long-term exposure to air pollution: effect on mortality', the COMEAP 2010 report 'The Mortality Effects of Long-term exposure to particulate·air pollution in the United Kingdom' has been published. The report calculates the potential impact on mortality and life expectancy of specified reductions in concentrations of air pollutants using the coefficient for all-cause mortality recommended in the 2009 report.



Since 2001, the evidence base regarding the effects of long-term exposure to air pollutants on health has strengthened. In 2009, QUARK II members developed a report to summarise this new evidence and put forward quantitative estimates of the impact of the effects of long-term exposure to particulate pollution on mortality for application in the UK.

Long-term exposure to air pollution: effect on mortality (2009)



    QUARK I 1998-2001

    The first QUARK subgroup (QUARK I) quantified the health impacts due to short-term effects of air pollution based on time-series coefficients and COMEAP published a report in 1998. In 2001, COMEAP published a report on the long-term effects of particulate air pollution on mortality.

    The quantification of the effects of air pollution on health in the United Kingdom (1998)

    Long-term effects of particles on mortality (2001)

    Short-term associations between ambient particles and admissions to hospital for cardiovascular disorders (2001)