Setting up a collaborative European human biological monitoring study on occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium

T. Santonen, Alessandro Alimonti, Beatrice Bocca, Radu Corneliu Duca, Karen S. Galea, Lode Godderis, Thomas Göen, B. Gomes, O. Hanser, Ivo Iavicoli, B. Janasik, Kate Jones, M. Kiilunen, Holger M. Koch, Elizabeth Leese, Veruscka Leso, Henriqueta Louro, Sophie Ndaw, Simo P. Porras, A. RobertFlavia Ruggieri, Paul T.J. Scheepers, Maria J. Silva, Susana Viegas, Wojciech Wasowicz, Argelia Castano, Ovnair Sepai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The EU human biomonitoring initiative, HBM4EU, aims to co-ordinate and advance human biomonitoring (HBM) across Europe. Within its remit, the project is gathering new, policy relevant, EU-wide data on occupational exposure to relevant priority chemicals and developing new approaches for occupational biomonitoring. In this manuscript, the hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] study design is presented as the first example of this HBM4EU approach. This study involves eight European countries and plans to recruit 400 workers performing Cr(VI) surface treatment e.g. electroplating or stainless steel welding activities. The aim is to collect new data on current occupational exposure to Cr(VI) in Europe and to test new methods for Cr biomonitoring, specifically the analysis of Cr(VI) in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and Cr in red blood cells (RBC) in addition to traditional urinary total Cr analyses. Furthermore, exposure data will be complemented with early biological effects data, including genetic and epigenetic effects. Personal air samples and wipe samples are collected in parallel to help informing the biomonitoring results. We present standard operational procedures (SOPs) to support the harmonized methodologies for the collection of occupational hygiene and HBM samples in different countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108583
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Biomonitoring
  • Effect markers
  • Electroplating
  • Exhaled breath condensate
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Multicenter study
  • Occupational exposure
  • Welding


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