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Health

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.

Plant-based meat substitute with best environmental performance

A burger with plant based meat substitute.

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

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Clean bathing waters, but the fun has its limits

See in Brandenburg

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

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Asbestos in buildings still a problem

hellgraue Wellplatten aus Asbestzement

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

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German Environment Agency enhances its air quality app

Zwei Smartphones auf lila-farbenem Hintergrund. Aufschrift: Wie gut ist die Luft, die sie atmen?

The "Luftqualität" air quality app by the German Environment Agency now also features ozone forecasts. The app can display expected ozone levels for the current and two following days. An automatic alert can be activated to notify the user if high levels of ozone are expected within the next 24 hours. read more

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The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment