Air pollution, noise, climate change, chemicals – Environmental problems are a burden on human health. An intact environment can have a positive influence on health and well-being. Urban green spaces are a good example. A recent report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) describes successes for environment and health as well as challenges that face Europe today. 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.
Infectious aerosols in indoor spaces
What is an aerosol? How are SARS-CoV-2 containing aerosols formed? When can individuals catch COVID-19 via aerosols? How can the risk of infection via aerosol particles be reduced? Which indoor hygiene measures can minimise the concentration of infectious aerosol particles? Answers in our FAQ. read more
Proper airing reduces risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection
Aerosols are a possible transmission path of the novel coronavirus. Aerosols spread quickly throughout the entire room, especially in closed indoor spaces. Regular ventilation by shock and cross ventilation or via ventilation systems in the rooms can significantly reduce the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2. read more
PFAS excessively high in blood of children and adolescents in Germany
Children and adolescents between the ages of 3 and 17 in Germany have too many persistent chemicals from the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance group, or PFAS, in their blood. These are the findings of an evaluation of the representative German Environmental Survey for Children and Adolescents, GerES V. read more
Plant-based meat substitute with best environmental performance
Meat substitute products such as vegetarian sausage, schnitzel or meatballs are becoming increasingly popular in Germany. A study entitled "Meat of the Future" by the German Environment Agency examines the effects which meat substitutes have on the environment and health and what role they could play in a future diet. read more
Cleaner air in cities: number of cities above the NO2 limit is halved in 2019
The German Environment Agency has published the final data for 2019 on nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The data show that only 25 cities exceeded the annual mean NO2 limit value of 40 micrograms NO2 per cubic metre of air (µg/m³), compared to 57 cities in the previous year. read more
Clean bathing waters, but the fun has its limits
In the 2019 bathing season, the EU Commission rated 93% of all German bathing water sites 'excellent'. Overall, 98 percent of bathing waters in lakes, rivers and on the coast were in compliance with the quality standards of the European Bathing Water Directive. This data is confirmed by the Quality of Bathing Water data published by the EU Commission on 8 June for the 2019 bathing season. read more
Asbestos in buildings still a problem
Several million buildings in Germany built or refurbished before October 1993 may still contain asbestos today. A new guideline offers advice, especially to non-specialists, on what to consider when planning renovation and DIY work. read more