Category 114
Additional exposuresLocal environment ⏵ Residential air pollution


This category contains data on local environmental exposures, conducted by the Small Area Health Statistics Unit ( as part of the BioSHaRE-EU Environmental Determinants of Health Project ( The aim of the BioSHaRE-EU Environmental Determinants of Health Project is to harmonize environmental exposures from multiple biobanks in different countries. UK Biobank is a participating biobank in this project.

Air pollution estimates for the year 2010 were modelled for each address using a Land Use Regression (LUR) model developed as part of the European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects (ESCAPE,, funded under the EU 7th Framework Programme (for references see below). The LUR model is based on ESCAPE monitoring done between 26 January 2010 - 18 January 2011, and air pollution estimates are representative for the year 2010. Traffic variables were calculated during the course of LUR based on Eurostreets (vs 3.1) digital road network for the year 2008.

Please note that the ESCAPE estimates for particulates are valid up to 400km from the monitoring area, which was in Greater London, but it is unclear how good the estimates are outside this area. All addresses which are more than 400km away from Greater London are not assigned PM10, PM2.5, PM2.5 absorbance and PM coarse concentrations and have missing data instead (number of records: 33,935). For more information on the individual models please see the ESCAPE project website:

Air pollution estimates for the years 2005-2007 were derived from EU-wide air pollution maps (resolution 100 metre x 100 metre). The x,y-coordinates of UK Biobank participants were overlaid with these maps (projected to British National Grid) and the corresponding air pollution concentration of the 100 metre x 100 metre grid cell were assigned to the coordinate. EU-wide air pollution maps were modelled based on a LUR model for Europe which also includes satellite derived air pollution estimates to improve the model performance. For details of the model and model performance see: Vienneau D, de Hoogh K, Bechle MJ, Beelen R, van Donkelaar A, Martin RV, Millet DB, Hoek G, Marshall JD. 2013. Western European land use regression incorporating satellite- and ground-based measurements of NO2 and PM10. Environmental Science and Technology 47(23): 13555-13564.

Please note that estimates from different air pollution models (ESCAPE [2010] and EU-wide [2005-2007]) were not designed to be combined and should not be averaged, as this may introduce bias.