ISGlobal | Barcelona Institute for GlobalHealth


Mark Nieuwenhuijsen

Director of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative

Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen PhD is a world leading expert in environmental exposure assessment, epidemiology, and health risk/impact assessment with a strong focus and interest on healthy urban living. He has experience and expertise in areas of all cause mortality, respiratory and cardiovascular disease, mental health and cognitive function, cancer and reproductive health, and exposure measurement and modelling of indoor and outdoor air pollution, green space, UV exposure, noise, temperature and physical activity, using new technology such as GIS, smartphones, personal sensors and remote sensing.

He leads the international TAPAS study, examining the health impacts of active transport in six European cities and the EC funded PHENOTYPE study, examining the relations between green space and health, and the ISGlobal funded SUMA HIA project on health impact assessment in low and medium income countries. He is a co-investigator in ICEPURE, that examines exposure to and health effects of solar UV exposure, ESCAPE (and related (VE3SPA), that examines the long term health effects of air pollution, NIH funded CAVA which aims to validate smartphone based data collection methods, EC funded CITISENSE that aims to empower citizens using smartphone technology, EC funded HELIX, that examines the early life exposome and childhood diseases, EC funded EXPOsOMICs that examines the air pollution and water exposome and health, the EC funded PASTA study, which promotes active transportation through sustainable transport, and the EC funded BlueHealth project evaluating the relationship between blue space and Health.

He led the EC funded study EXPASCAN on arsenic and health, the large EC funded HIWATE study on the health effects of chlorination by-products in drinking water, the European funded ENRIECO study, coordinating work on environmental exposure-response relationships of European birth cohorts, and was a co-investigator on the European funded studies such as INTARESE that developed health impact assessment methodology for environmental pollutants.

Furthermore, he has been involved in a number of studies on health effects around point sources (Arsenic around a power plant in Slovakia, mercury emitting sources in Runcorn, UK and cadmium emitting sources in the Avonmouth area, UK), a study on the effect of pesticides bystander exposure and congenital anomalies in the UK, a study of environmental risk factors of hypospadias. and a cohort study of Porton Down veterans evaluating the effects of chemical warfare agents. He has edited three books on Exposure Assessment and on Environmental Epidemiology, and has co-authored more than 300 papers published in peer reviewed journals.

Lines of Research

  • Urban and transport planning
  • Environment and health
  • Environment and Childhood development

Main publications

  • Rojas-Rueda D, de Nazelle A, Tainio M, Niewenhuijsen MJ. Bike sharing system (bicing) in barcelona, spain; a description and estimated health impacts. BMJ 2011;343:d452
  • Carpenter LM, Linsell L, Brooks C, Keegan TJ, Langdon T, Doyle P, Maconochie NES, Fletcher T, Niewenhuijsen MJ, Beral V, Venables KM Cancer incidence in British military veterans included in experimental research into chemical warfare agents at Porton Down. BMJ 2009;338:b358.
  • Niewenhuijsen MJ, Toledano MB, Bennett J, Best N, Konstantinou K, Hambly P, de Hoogh K, Boyd P, Abramsky L, Wellesley D, Dattani N, Briggs D, Lars Jarup L and Elliott P. The relationship between disinfection byproducts in drinking water and congenital anomalies in England and Wales. Environ Health Perspec 2008; 116: 216-222
  • McCreanor J, Cullinan P, Niewenhuijsen MJ, Stewart-Evans J, Malliarou E, Jarup L, Harrington R, Svartengren M, Han I-K, Ohman-Strickland P, Chung KF and Zhang J. Respiratory Effects of Exposure to Diesel Traffic in Persons with Asthma. NEJM 2007;357:2348-58
  • Hodgson S, Niewenhuijsen MJ, Elliott P and Jarup L. Kidney disease mortality and environmental exposure to mercury. Am J Epidem 2007; 165 :72-7