Mineral dust contains particles with different chemical and microbial compositions, which can cause or exacerbate respiratory diseases such as asthma, rhinitis, or pneumonia. In the "A risk index for health effects of mineral dust and associated Microbes" DUSTRISK project, harmful aspects of mineral dusts in combination with adherent microbes are investigated.

The aim is to combine atmospheric, clinical, epidemiological, toxicological, and microbiological studies and go beyond a purely mass-based risk assessment for respiratory diseases to include the composition of the dusts and develop a corresponding risk-index as an advisory tool for the public and vulnerable groups.

Field studies, laboratory investigations as well as modeling studies will be performed in collaboration with partners from the Leibniz Institutes DSMZ, FZB and IUF and from Cabo Verde including hospitals, the University and the public health institution of Cabo Verde.

The DUSTRISK project is funded by the Leibniz competition 2020 in the funding program Cooperative Excellence, aimed at fostering specific research modes of the Leibniz association based on diversity and decentralization.