RECETOX studies the behavior of contaminants and models their long-distance transport and bioaccumulation in living organisms; this includes evaluating the effects of toxic substances on the environment and health, and developing methods and tools to break them down.
Our extensive expertise enables us to explore the complex relationships between contaminated ecosystems and population health, biodiversity, and climate change, assess their local and regional impacts, and develop water and soil remediation technologies and tools.
Environment and Health
In recent years, the Center's research focus has expanded to cover the various factors affecting human health and well-being, the so-called exposome, chemical safety, and the development of biotechnology, materials, and bioinformatics tools for biomedicine.
Due to the growing number of older adults and the resulting increase in the burden of chronic diseases and societal demands, most developed countries face long-term rises in healthcare costs and thus pressure on health insurance systems. This increase makes chronic diseases, together with health inequalities, two of the most challenging problems of the 21st century. To effectively address these problems, the factors that determine the health of humans and entire populations must be clarified and explored.
Individuals and populations are exposed to many environmental factors, such as heat, noise, light pollution, and a wide range of chemicals and their mixtures. These chemicals enter the body via the food and water we ingest, products we use daily (e.g., cosmetics), the air we breathe, and the indoor environments (buildings, offices) we work or live in. While many of these chemicals have been shown to interfere with the proper functioning of the endocrine and immune systems, causing neurodevelopmental, metabolic, and reproductive disorders, the combined effects of toxic mixtures and other environmental factors, which can also be influenced by stress, socioeconomic determinants, lifestyle or dietary habits, have not yet been fully elucidated.
Therefore, we aim to build research capacity for investigating the exposure of populations to the environmental factors (so-called Exposome) mentioned above, estimate internal exposure and individual susceptibility, predict the risks to human health, and thereby contribute to clarifying the etiology of chronic conditions.