Tasks and Targets

The Environmental Specimen Bank is a major component of the German environmental observation system. It provides a scientific basis for decisions by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) concerning what action it considers necessary as a means of protecting the environment and monitoring the efficacy of such action.

The following questions can be answered:

  • Where and since when are specific chemicals found in the environment?
  • How do chemical burdens change over time?
  • How should these developments be interpreted?
  • Is it necessary to take legal measures?
  • Has past legislation had a sufficiently positive effect?
  • What results have been achieved by voluntary restrictions on the part of industry?
  • How is biodiversity changing?

Changes in the chemical burden of humans and the environment over time are not only monitored and documented but also assessed: It has frequently been observed that environmental data can provide an early indicator of potential threats to human health. Consequently, the Environmental Specimen Bank also plays an equally important preventive role in environmental and consumer protection.