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BfR school kids' university: Young people in Berlin explore consumer health protection

37/2017, 29.09.2017

To mark its 15th anniversary, the BfR is providing school children in Berlin with information on health risks in everyday life

Today, 29 September 2017, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is organising a kids' university dealing with all aspects of consumer health protection. At this free information day, school children from Berlin from Grade 10 upwards can find out how scientists at the BfR assess the health risks of various substances and products from our everyday lives, for example. The young people will hear some interesting facts about the health risks that nicotine, cosmetics and tattoos can pose, as well as the possible consequences of poor food hygiene in the kitchen. Drinks containing caffeine will also be a topic. "Energy drinks are popular with young people, for instance," says BfR Vice-President Professor Dr. Reiner Wittkowski, "but many of them are not aware that the drinks can have undesired effects, especially when people consume them in very large quantities, mix them with alcohol, do not get enough sleep or severely exert themselves physically". In addition to this, the BfR experts provide insights into research on alternative methods to tests with animals and show how different health risks are perceived in society.

On the occasion of its 15th anniversary, the BfR is inviting senior pupils from Berlin schools to get acquainted with the scientific work of the Institute in the field of consumer health protection. In the university environment of the Charité Mitte campus, the BfR school kids' university offers young people the opportunity to find out more about the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, its history and its widely diversified research, and discover a few practical applications from the natural sciences.

What exactly is "consumer health protection"? And what does it have to do with school kids? In informative and entertaining presentations, BfR scientists give examples of health risks which the young people can also encounter in their everyday lives. The pupils have the opportunity to discuss the assessment, perception and communication of risks of this kind with the experts on the basis of realistic examples.

Why hygiene in the kitchen can save lives, how cosmetics and tattoos can pose a health risk and how the excessive consumption of caffeine or nicotine can damage health is explained by experts on a scientific basis. They also explain the BfR’s commitment to developing alternative methods to animal testing. The school kids’ university is one of several celebratory events to which the BfR is extending an invitation in 2017 to mark the occasion of its 15th anniversary.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

The BfR is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the institute has published a jubilee brochure (in German) which can be downloaded or ordered free of charge at

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.


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