Group | Physical Hazards and Health

Man-made and natural physical hazards are ubiquitously distributed in our environment. The research of the Physical Hazards and Health Research group focuses on (but is not restricted to) the health effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields, ultraviolet radiation, ionizing radiation, climate including extreme weather events, and noise.

Impact of our Environment

We develop exposure assessment methods and apply them to epidemiological studies to examine the impact of physical hazards on health. We consider a wide variety of health outcomes that are relevant in this context, such as carcinogenicity, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases or health-related quality of life. We also conduct regular health impact assessments and systematic reviews. In addition to physical hazards, we address the cardio-respiratory health effects of passive smoking and air pollution exposure.

Martin Röösli

Martin Röösli

Associate Professor, PhD

Alahmad B et al. Associations between extreme temperatures and cardiovascular cause-specific mortality: results from 27 countries. Circulation. 2023;147(1):35-46. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.122.061832

Buteau S et al. Associations between environmental noise and myocardial infarction and stroke: Investigating the potential mediating effects of hypertension. Environ Res. 2023;231(Pt 1):116092. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.116092

Castro A et al. Mortality attributable to ambient fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in Switzerland in 2019: use of two-pollutant effect estimates. Environ Res. 2023;231(Pt 1):116029. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.116029

Castro A et al. Methodological manual for air pollution health risk assessments in Switzerland: deliverable 5 of the project QHIAS (Quantification of health impact of air pollution in Switzerland); Version 1.0. Bern, Switzerland: Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), 2023. DOI: 10.5451/unibas-ep96059

Kelly S.L, Shattock A.J, Ragettli M.S, Vienneau D, Vicedo-Cabrera A.M, de Hoogh K. The air and viruses we breathe: assessing the effect the PM2.5 air pollutant has on the burden of COVID-19. Atmosphere. 2023;14(5):887. DOI: 10.3390/atmos14050887

Loizeau N et al. Comparison of ambient radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) levels in outdoor areas and public transport in Switzerland in 2014 and 2021. Environ Res. 2023;237(Pt 1):116921. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.116921

Masselot P et al. Excess mortality attributed to heat and cold: a health impact assessment study in 854 cities in Europe. Lancet Planet Health. 2023;7(4):e271-e281. DOI: 10.1016/S2542-5196(23)00023-2

Ragettli M, Schulte F, Röösli M, Rieser R. Monitoring der hitzebedingten Todesfälle in der Schweiz. Schweiz Ärzteztg. 2023;104(43):30-33. DOI:

Ragettli M.S et al. Explorative assessment of the temperature–mortality association to support health-based heat-warning thresholds: a national case-crossover study in Switzerland. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023;20(6):4958. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20064958

Rai M et al. Heat-related cardiorespiratory mortality: effect modification by air pollution across 482 cities from 24 countries. Environ Int. 2023;174:107825. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2023.107825