European Environment Agency HBM4EU Policy Briefs REF: 957

The European Commission has set aside €50 million for developing a European Human Biomonitoring Initiative under Horizon 2020.  The HBM4EU project runs for five years (2017 to2021) with the aim of establishing a sustained Human Biomonitoring (HBM) programme post 2021.

The project is led by the German Environment Agency (UBA) and involves 41 lead partners from each of the participating countries (22 Member States, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Israel), as well as the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Key objectives of HBM4EU include:

  • Harmonising procedures for human biomonitoring across the 26 participating countries, to provide policy makers with comparable data on human internal exposure to chemicals and mixtures of chemicals at EU level; and
  • Feeding information on exposure pathways into the design of targeted policy measures to reduce exposure.

Work on the HBM4EU has initially been prioritised to 270 or so identified chemical substances organised into seven groups:

  1. Phthalates and Hexamol® DINCH
  2. Bisphenols
  3. Per/poly fluorinated substances
  4. Flame retardants
  5. Cadmium and chromium (VI)
  6. Poly aromatic hydrocarbons and air pollutants
  7. Anilin family

Two further groups (one on mixtures and one on emerging substances) also figure in the HBM4EU work.

RPA were commissioned by EEA to provide the HBM4EU project partners with policy briefs on the substances and substance groups.  These were designed to inform HBM4EU researchers of the EU legislative status of substances/groups and provide information and links to further information.  This was to enable researchers to tailor their research activities to address current policy questions and target the communication and dissemination of their results to the relevant EU policy makers.

The legislative profiles also provide content on a HBM4EU website ( as well as material for future non-technical leaflets to inform the public on potential risks associated with exposure to chemicals and communication materials for future surveys.

The final profiles cover the identification and classification of substances with links to substance infocards, information on life cycle uses for REACH registered substances and links to REACH dossiers for the substances as well the individual legislative requirements applying to each substance including links to restriction and authorisation provisions under REACH, POPs Regulation as well as MRLs and other key information.  This was extended to the 880 ‘emerging substances’ on the NORMAN list (see not already present on the listings for the other HBM4EU substance groups.  In total, information on some 1,150 substances was gathered.