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Human Biomonitoring for Europe

Vienna, 26 September: stakeholder forum

28.09.2018 |

Human Biomonitoring for Europe (HBM4EU) is a joint effort of 28 countries with more than 100 partners, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission, co-funded under Horizon 2020. HBM4EU will run for five years, from 2017 to 2021. 

The main objectives of the HBM4EU:

  • Harmonise procedures and tools for human biomonitoring at European Union level;
  • Provide and, where missing, generate internal exposure data and link this data to external exposure and the relevant exposure pathways;
  • Develop novel methods to identify human internal exposure to environmental and occupational chemicals and establish the causal links with human health effects;
  • Provide policy-makers and the general public with science-based knowledge on the health risks associated with chemicals exposure; and
  • Improve chemical risk assessment in the European Union through the effective use of human biomonitoring data.

Within the HBM4EU project stakeholders including non-governmental organisations representing environmental, health and consumer priorities, as well as trade unions and representatives of industry are engaged or invited to give input in certain aspects of the HBM4EU. WECF is one of the 11 members participating in the stakeholder forum.


The second meeting of the HBM4EU Stakeholder Forum

Amongst others an overview about the so far achieved results and the lists of the selected priority substances were given by representants of the National Hubs. Challenges of the HBM4EU were highlighted from different perspectives. WECF presented the challenges from a stakeholder perspective.

More information about the first list of the HBM4EU priority substance (a.o. Bisphenols, Cadmium and Chromium Vl, Flame retardants, PAHs, Phtalates, chemical mixtures) can be found in the scoping documents.

On 28 October the high-level Stakeholder Conference “Human biomonitoring in Europe – science and policy for healthy citizens”. Programme of this HBM4EU conference and the first two hours livestream can be found here.

The HBM4EU is a challenging project with new opportunities, resulting in new views and insights in the exposure of human population to harmful chemicals in their daily life and the effects on their health. Finally the link between healths risks caused by  harmful substances has to be transformed into effective policy measures, based on the precautionary principles. Moreover the exposure to and the risks of mixtures of harmful chemicals is an issue of concern and need intensive and innovative research.

In general the toxicity properties of individual substances are more or less known. However still little is known about the impact of mixtures of harmful substance on human health. 

According to the risk analysis presented at the high level stakeholder forum by Carl-Gustaf Bornhag, Professor, Head of Public Health Sciences, Karlstad University Sweden, the traditional models of additivity or a compound-by-compound strategy underestimate the risks of mixtures up to a factor 13:

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