The environmental medicine discipline aims to prevent the occurrence of environmental complaints and diseases in people. The cause of suffering is not always the same. Diagnosis and treatment often require cross-disciplinary cooperation and experience. read more
Our work centers around protecting the public against environmental health hazards. We conduct experimental research and also commission research with the goal of gaining insight into the origin and scope of environmental degradation that could potentially affect human health. These efforts are largely driven by an interdisciplinary approach involving collaboration between experts in the fields of hygiene, medicine, the natural sciences, and epidemiology. These researchers analyze the impact of environmental pollutants on the human body, and in doing so combine this knowledge with data on water, soil and air pollution.
This approach seeks to shed light on the extent to which human beings are affected by environmental contaminants. These experts investigate the health risks entailed by exposure to such contaminants by collaboratively sifting through and evaluating data from the fields of human biomonitoring, environmental medicine, toxicology, and microbiology. A prime example of this interdisciplinary approach are the health issues that arise when people spend time indoors (indoor air quality). Another key issue is the impact of noise on human health. The UBA also works on the following ...
... Development and standardization of assay methodologies for chemical and microbiological contaminants in waterbodies and indoor air, and the related issue of quality assurance.
... Gathering data on and assessing human exposure to chemical, physical and microbiological environmental contaminants.
... Environmental hygiene issues, which are crucially important in built-up areas.
... Health related environmental monitoring through our Kinder-Umwelt-Survey (“Children and the environment survey”) and the human specimen bank
... Bathing water hygiene, including elaboration of a national bathing water report for the EU.
... The health aspects of EU directives concerning air and bathing water quality.
... Guidelines for indoor air quality, together with a health oriented assessment of construction-product emissions.
... International cooperative efforts such as the work of the WHO Collaborating Center for Air Quality Management and Air Pollution Control concerning outdoor and indoor air quality in Europe.
The outcomes of our work find their way into environmental hygiene practice and are constantly used as a basis for the elaboration of various standards and regulations in Germany and elsewhere. The UBA is also actively involved in the Aktionsprogramm Umwelt und Gesundheit (APUG; Environmental and Health Action Program), which is being conducted by the Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Federal Ministry of Health.
Science and policy for a healthy future – this is the slogan of the International Conference on Human Biomonitoring taking place for the second time in Berlin, Germany. Experts from the fields of science, politics, authorities, industry and associations are invited to discuss aspects of human biomonitoring for science as well as for environmental policy. read more
Nanotechnology deals with the production and application of processes and nanomaterials composed of structurally definable particles on a scale of 100 nanometres (1 nm = 10-9 m) or less in at least one dimension; in other words, more than 1,000 times smaller in diameter than a human hair. At this scale physical and chemical properties of materials change, and this change can be applied in a variet... read more
Formaldehyde may be contained in wood-based materials, e.g. for construction and furniture, as a constituent of adhesives, and is considered to be carcinogenic. Here are answers to key questions from the perspective of indoor air hygiene. read more
People in developed countries spend the majority of their lives indoors, on average about two thirds in their home. However, the quality of indoor air is not always beneficial to human health. read more
How do pharmaceuticals get into the environment? Can residues of pharmaceuticals in water and soil harm plants, animals or even human health? What is being done to prevent this, and what can I do? The Federal Environment Agency’s background paper, which is now also available in English, sheds light on these and other questions surrounding the topic of pharmaceuticals in the environment. read more
Heat waves raise risk of death in heart patients by up to 15 percent read more