Research Projects (Third party funds)


Sensors for measuring aerosols and reactive gases and analysis of their effect on human health

The aim of the project is to link, with the help of Citizen Scientists, individual pollution levels with health data. For this purpose, the citizens install sensors at their place of residence in the greater Cologne area that measure the pollutant load and provide real-time feedback on their state of health via their smartphone or computer, using the e-Health tool PIA (Prospective Monitoring and Management App).

Research Centre Jülich is responsible for the scientific supervision of pollutant measurement. The sensors detect particulate matter (OM 2.5 and PM10), nitrogen oxides, ozone and carbon monoxide.

The health data focus on respiratory infections. These are reported via PIA. In the case of acute diseases, the Citizen Scientists have the opportunity to take a nasal swab and send it to the Hannover Medical School (MHH), where the samples are examined for common respiratory viruses. The results are reported back in-app individually. The collected pollutant loads and health data will be linked within the project, so that possible correlations can be investigated. With regard to the PIA app, adherence and data quality will also be investigated and compared with other PIA-based projects (e.g. ZIFCO). In addition, the feasibility as a Citizen Science project will be evaluated as well.

As a Citizen Science project, SMARAGD also aims to integrate interested citizens into the planning of the project and make them actively participate in shaping the process. To this end, workshops are held at regular intervals with the citizens to discuss, develop and modify the framework conditions for the project in order to facilitate joint learning and knowledge transfer.


Research Centre Jülich

Helmholtz-Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (HMGU)


  • Dr Stefanie Castell

    Deputy Head of Department Epidemiology and Scientist


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