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Welcome to NordicWelfAir

 - a large interdisciplinary Nordic project funded by NordForsk

The expected overall results from this highly interdisciplinary project will be new knowledge about health effects of air pollution. Focus is on what kind of air pollution with respect to chemical composition and sources that causes the impacts from air pollution on human health for different target/population groups and on assessing the effects on the well-being and welfare.

The obtained results will form the basis for exploring the impacts on the distribution of welfare in the Nordic countries at population group level, for whole populations at national scale and between the Nordic countries.

Furthermore, new knowledge on the challenges this will have for the Nordic welfare systems is expected resulting in development of policy options proposing solutions to the public health and welfare challenges.

The overall aim of NordicWelfAir is:

  • to further understand the link between air pollution levels, the chemical composition of the pollution and the related health effects,
  • and to investigate and assess the effects of air pollution on the distribution of related health impacts, socio-economics and welfare in the Nordic countries.

The research collaboration will run for five years and has 16 partners from the Nordic countries.

The project is coordinated by Prof. Jørgen Brandt (jbr@envs.au.dk) and Senior Scientist Camilla Geels (cag@envs.au.dk), Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University.



The project: Understanding the link between Air pollution and Distribution of related Health Impacts and Welfare in the Nordic countries – NordicWelfAir – is funded through NordForsk’s Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare.

The project will run for five years and has been granted funding of NOK 30 million.

How do we regulate air pollution in an optimal way?

Air pollution has serious impacts on human health, wellbeing and welfare. The main challenge is to understand how to regulate air pollution in an optimal way both on global and local scales.

Linking the detailed information of the spatio-temporal distribution of air pollution levels and the chemical composition of the atmospheric particles with register data for mortality and morbidity, we have a unique opportunity in the Nordic countries to gain new understanding of the various health impacts from different kinds of air pollution from different kind of sources.

This will provide the basic understanding needed for policy making of strategies to optimally reduce the air pollution challenge and to assess the related impacts on the distribution of health impacts and related societal costs and welfare.

The results from the project will be used in both a Nordic as well as global perspective to improve the health and welfare by finding the optimal solutions to societal and public health challenges from air pollution through high-quality research.

The results from the research in this project have the potential to act as new international standards in our understanding of health impacts from air pollution for different population groups due to the possibility to integrate the unique data and knowledge of air pollution, register, health, socio-economics, and welfare research in the Nordic countries in a highly interdisciplinary project.

The study will provide a Nordic contribution to international research on the topics of environmental equality and justice within the area of air quality related risks, amenities and wellbeing.



Save the date June 10-11, 2020


Save the date June 10-11, 2020:

The first Nordic five-city on-line conference on air quality, AQ4ALL - Air Quality for All, will take place June 10-11, 2020.

This will give all participants the opportunity to learn about the latest knowledge concerning Nordic air quality and the link to human health.


The program includes results and ongoing research from SCAC, the Swedish Clean Air Research Programme, the Nordic Welfairlänk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster Research Project and the EU project Black Carbon in the Arcticlänk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster, three complementary research activities with high relevance for the Nordic region.

General information:

Anna Mellin (anna.mellin@ivl.se) or Lovisa Källmark (lovisa.kallmark@ivl.se)

Local information:

Denmark: Camilla Geels (cag@envs.au.dk)

Finland: Otto Hänninen (otto.hanninen@thl.fi)

Iceland: Þórarinn Gíslason (thorarig@landspitali.is)

Norway: Per Schwarze (pereverhard.schwarze@fhi.no)

Sweden: Stefan Åström (stefan.astrom@ivl.se)

New study on air pollution and schizophrenia published


Based on a national cohort study, Antonsen et al. has a new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health: Antonsen S, Mok PLH, Webb R. T., Mortensen P. B., McGrath J. J. , Agerbo E., Brandt J., Geels C., Christensen J.H., Pedersen C.B., Exposure to air pollution during childhood and risk of developing schizophrenia: a national cohort study. Lancet Planet Health. 2020 Feb;4(2):e64-e73. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(20)30004-8

New study on air pollution and mortality published


Hvidtfeldt and colleagues have analysed the link between exposure to a number of air pollutant and mortality in a Danish cohort: Hvidtfeldt, U. A., M. Sørensen, C. Geels, M. Ketzel, J. Khan, A. Tjønneland, K. Overvad, J. Brandt, and O. Raaschou-Nielsen (2019), Long-term residential exposure to PM2.5, PM10, black carbon, NO2, and ozone and mortality in a Danish cohort, Environ Int, 123, 265-272, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2018.12.010.