The HBM4EU chromates study – Outcomes and impacts on EU policies and occupational health practices

Tiina Santonen, Henriqueta Louro, Beatrice Bocca, Radia Bousoumah, Radu Corneliu Duca, Aleksandra Fucic, Karen S. Galea, Lode Godderis, Thomas Göen, Ivo Iavicoli, Beata Janasik, Kate Jones, Elizabeth Leese, Veruscka Leso, Sophie Ndaw, Katrien Poels, Simo P. Porras, Flavia Ruggieri, Maria J. Silva, An Van NieuwenhuyseJelle Verdonck, Wojciech Wasowicz, Ana M. Tavares, Ovnair Sepai, Paul T.J. Scheepers, Susana Viegas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Within the EU human biomonitoring initiative (HBM4EU), a targeted, multi-national study on occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) was performed. Cr(VI) is currently regulated in EU under REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) and under occupational safety and health (OSH) legislation. It has recently been subject to regulatory actions to improve its risk management in European workplaces. Analysis of the data obtained within the HBM4EU chromates study provides support both for the implementation of these regulatory actions and for national enforcement programs and may also contribute to the updating of occupational limit values (OELs) and biological limit values for Cr(VI). It also provides useful insights on the contribution of different risk management measures (RMMs) to further reduce the exposure to Cr(VI) and may support the evaluation of applications for authorisation under REACH. Findings on chrome platers’ additional per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) exposure highlight the need to also pay attention to this substance group in the metals sector. A survey performed to evaluate the policy relevance of the HBM4EU chromates study findings supports the usefulness of the study results. According to the responses received from the survey, the HBM4EU chromates study was able to demonstrate the added value of the human biomonitoring (HBM) approach in assessment and management of occupational exposure to Cr(VI). For future occupational studies, we emphasise the need for engagement of policy makers and regulators throughout the whole research process to ensure awareness, relevance and uptake of the results in future policies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114099
JournalInternational Journal Of Hygiene And Environmental Health
Early online date17 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Biomonitoring
  • Carcinogens, mutagens and reprotoxic substances directive
  • EU
  • HBM4EU
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Occupational exposure limit values


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