The RI-URBANS’ pilot on health effects starts in four European cities

  • RI-URBANS’s pilot 4 has been launched in Athens, Barcelona, Paris, and Zurich to demonstrate the measurement of a series of novel health indicators. 


  • The outcomes will complement existing air quality policy with measures directly targeting emission sources relevant to health.


The RI-URBANS’ pilot 4, focused on the health effects of novel air quality metrics, has just started in Athens, Barcelona, Paris, and Zurich.

The studies carried out in these large, populated European cities, aim to identify particulate matter components and nanoparticles that could be especially dangerous for human health. These data will be used to evaluate premature mortality and morbidity by cause, gender, and age, and compared with the health outcomes of conventionally measured pollutants.


The pilot includes two steps:

  • Assessment of the health effects related to air quality metrics currently available from the public administrations.
    This analysis is carried out in all available cities (not only in the 4 pilot cities).
  • Assessment of the health effects related to novel air quality metrics. In this case, the air quality variables include non-regulated pollutants and parameters, such as black carbon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the number concentrations of ultrafine particles, the oxidative potential at the cellular level, etc.

If the novel air quality metrics of both short-term and long-term exposures represent a better parameter to assess the impact of air pollution on health, researchers will be able to relate these metrics with health data (mortality and morbidity in each city).  The information provided in this pilot will be relevant for air quality-health policies at the European level.