The AeroHealth Helmholtz International Lab is a German-Israeli research initiative, addressing the health effects of fresh and atmospherically aged anthropogenic and biogenic aerosol emissions. The most relevant anthropogenic aerosol sources include biomass burning, traffic as well as industrial emissions. Important natural emissions comprise e.g. gaseous biogenic emissions, wildfires or abrasive (desert) dust. In the atmosphere new aerosol particles are formed (e.g. secondary organic aerosol, SOA) and the primary particles are chemically and physically transformed.
The AeroHealth research approach is based on simulation of the polluted atmosphere and the photochemical transformation of aerosols in atmospheric simulation chambers or photochemical reactors. In addition to a thorough physical and chemical characterisation the aerosols are subjected to biological systems such as human lung cell cultures using special exposure systems for mimicking the lung situation. The biological and toxicological responses are characterized by advanced molecular biological approaches (including omics technologies). Bioinformatics and modern data science is applied to link the complex exposure situation with the biological outcomes and human health data.