Air Pollution - An Invisible Killer

Air pollution causes almost 4 million deaths annually. This burden is larger than the one of the deadliest infectious disease. Swiss TPH belongs to the leading research institutions in the field of air pollution and health. Experts monitor air quality and employ spatial and temporal modelling methods to estimate exposure to pollutants and its impact on public health. Their broad range of activities contributes to 1) establishing the evidence of adverse effects of pollution through innovative research, 2) assess the related public health risks and impact and 3) communicate and discuss the findings with policy makers and public agencies to foster policies in favour of public health and wellbeing.

Teaching and training in air pollution exposure, epidemiology, risk assessment and policy making at University Basel, the Swiss School of Public Health, Geneva University, ETH, and a range of international institutions is part of the Swiss TPH contribution to capacity building.

Air Pollution and Health: Challenges and Opportunities for Policy-makers, Citizens, and the Industry

Nino Künzli, Deputy Director Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, at FILTREX™ @ INDEX™17 conference and exhibition in  Geneva, Switzerland. April 2017.

The AIRBASE network measures ultra-low particles such as PM2.5
Vietnam's air quality is among the worst in the world.

Effects of Low-Level Air Pollution in Europe

Swiss TPH is part of the larger ELAPSE study (Effects of Low-Level Air Pollution: A Study in Europe) that scrutinises the health effects of low air pollution levels within selected cohorts of the ESCAPE study. Individual data is analysed from six very large European administrative cohorts (> 25 million subjects). The relationship between long-term exposure to low-level air pollution and three broad health effect categories will be investigated: (a) natural and cause-specific mortality, (b) coronary and cerebrovascular events, and (c) lung cancer incidence.

Reducing Air Pollution in Tehran

The city of Tehran suffers from high level of air pollution, leading to chronic disease and death. Epidemiologists at Swiss TPH evaluate the acute health effects in the Iranian capital and assess the long-term exposure pattern in the city. Their work aims at opening-up new avenues for next generation air pollution monitoring, modelling and epidemiology in Iran.

Link to Project

Air Pollution and Pneumonia in Vietnam

Vietnam’s air quality is among the worst in the world. Experts estimate the short-term health effects of air pollution and its relevance in the capital city Hanoi with a focus on hospital admissions due to respiratory diseases in children. They scrutinise the association between the daily levels of air pollutants and hospital admission of children due to pneumonia. Moreover, the number of nights the children stay hospitalised due to respiratory infections is assessed.

Link to Project

A Unique Platform on Air Pollution Research

Swiss TPH built up and manages LUDOK,  a unique documentation platform on air pollution research in Switzerland. The database summarises over 8000 scientific publications. Thanks to LUDOK, the impact of several air pollutants on people’s health can be assessed. It serves as a basis for scientifically sound environmental policies ­­– in Switzerland and beyond.


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Selected projects at this location: