Volatile organic compounds are partly of natural origin, partly contained in articles of daily use, and can constantly reach our nose and skin. What health effects can VOCs have? How can unwanted exposure be reduced? read more
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.
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
The first half of the Fifth German Environmental Survey (GerES V) was completed at the end of May 2016. By that time, the number of participants had reached 1,326 children and adolescents and their parents, from 101 locations. The study examines the extent to which children and adolescents in Germany are exposed to environmental stressors. read more
Ensuring application safety and the environmentally compatible development and use of nanomaterials and other advanced materials
The German higher federal authorities responsible for human and environmental safety reviewed the joint research strategy "Nanotechnology - Risks related to Nanomaterials for Humans and the Environment ". read more
Which pollutants are people exposed to nowadays and which have diminished as a result of environmental legislation? This was one of the topics more than 300 experts from 33 countries discussed on the 2nd International Conference on Human Biomonitoring in April 2016 in Berlin. The presentations, the conference proceeding and impressions from the conference are found on the conference website. read more
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
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