How to use human biomonitoring in chemical risk assessment: Methodological aspects, recommendations, and lessons learned from HBM4EU

Tiina Santonen, Selma Mahiout, Paula Alvito, Petra Apel, Jos Bessems, Wieneke Bil, Teresa Borges, Stephan Bose-O'Reilly, Jurgen Buekers, Ana Isabel Cañas Portilla, Argelia Castaño Calvo, Mercedes de Alba González, Noelia Domínguez-Morueco, Marta Esteban López, Ingrid Falnoga, Antje Gerofke, María Del Carmen González Caballero, Milena Horvat, Pasi Huuskonen, Normunds KadikisMarike Kolossa-Gehring, Rosa Lange, Henriqueta Louro, Carla Martins, Matthieu Meslin, Lars Niemann, Susana Pedraza Díaz, Veronika Plichta, Simo P Porras, Christophe Rousselle, Bernice Scholten, Maria João Silva, Zdenka Šlejkovec, Janja Snoj Tratnik, Agnes Šömen Joksić, Jose V Tarazona, Maria Uhl, An Van Nieuwenhuyse, Susana Viegas, Anne Marie Vinggaard, Marjolijn Woutersen, Greet Schoeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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One of the aims of the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative, HBM4EU, was to provide examples of and good practices for the effective use of human biomonitoring (HBM) data in human health risk assessment (RA). The need for such information is pressing, as previous research has indicated that regulatory risk assessors generally lack knowledge and experience of the use of HBM data in RA. By recognising this gap in expertise, as well as the added value of incorporating HBM data into RA, this paper aims to support the integration of HBM into regulatory RA. Based on the work of the HBM4EU, we provide examples of different approaches to including HBM in RA and in estimations of the environmental burden of disease (EBoD), the benefits and pitfalls involved, information on the important methodological aspects to consider, and recommendations on how to overcome obstacles. The examples are derived from RAs or EBoD estimations made under the HBM4EU for the following HBM4EU priority substances: acrylamide, o-toluidine of the aniline family, aprotic solvents, arsenic, bisphenols, cadmium, diisocyanates, flame retardants, hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)], lead, mercury, mixture of per-/poly-fluorinated compounds, mixture of pesticides, mixture of phthalates, mycotoxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and the UV-filter benzophenone-3. Although the RA and EBoD work presented here is not intended to have direct regulatory implications, the results can be useful for raising awareness of possibly needed policy actions, as newly generated HBM data from HBM4EU on the current exposure of the EU population has been used in many RAs and EBoD estimations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114139
JournalInternational Journal Of Hygiene And Environmental Health
Early online date2 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Chemicals
  • Environmental burden of disease
  • Exposure biomarkers
  • HBM4EU
  • Human biomonitoring
  • Risk assessment


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