HBM4EU combines and harmonises human biomonitoring data across the EU, building on existing capacity – The HBM4EU survey

Liese Gilles*, Eva Govarts, Loïc Rambaud, Nina Vogel, Argelia Castaño, Marta Esteban López, Laura Rodriguez Martin, Gudrun Koppen, Sylvie Remy, Martine Vrijheid, Parisa Montazeri, Laura Birks, Ovnair Sepai, Lorraine Stewart, Ulrike Fiddicke, Ilse Loots, Lisbeth E. Knudsen, Marike Kolossa-Gehring, Greet Schoeters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As part of the Human Biomonitoring for Europe (HBM4EU) initiative a human biomonitoring (HBM) survey is conducted in 21 countries. This survey builds on existing HBM capacity in Europe by aligning national or regional HBM studies. The survey targets 3 age groups (i) children aged 6–11 years, (ii) teenagers aged 12–19 years and (iii) young adults aged 20–39 years and includes a total of 9493 participants (3151 children, 2953 teenagers and 3389 young adults). Depending on the age group, internal exposure to phthalates and substitute Hexamoll® DINCH, brominated and organophosphorus flame retardants, per-/poly-fluorinated compounds, cadmium, bisphenols and/or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are assessed. The main goal of the programme is to obtain quality controlled and comparable HBM data of exposure to chemicals, prioritized under HBM4EU, with European wide coverage to inform the development of environment and health policies. This paper describes the framework of the HBM4EU survey and the approach that has been applied to align European HBM initiatives across Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113809
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
HBM4EU is co-financed under Horizon 2020 (grant agreement No 733032 ). The authors thank all principle investigators of the contributing studies for their participation and contribution to the joint HBM4EU survey and the national programme owners for their financial support. In addition we want to thank Dr. Liesbeth Bruckers and Dr. Michael Schümann.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors


  • Adults
  • Children
  • Human biomonitoring
  • Joint HBM4EU survey
  • Teenagers


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