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12 October 2018
Asthma , COPD, Allergy, Other Diseases
- Chemicals, - Healthcare

On 28 September the Austrian EU Presidency organised in Vienna a major European conference on the health effects of environmental chemicals.

The conference entitled "Human Biomonitoring in Europe - science and policy for healthy citizens" highlighted the benefits of human biomonitoring for policymaking, presented the first results of the European Human BioMonitoring joint initiative (HBM4EU) and served to discuss the future.

The HBM4EU project started in 2016 to improve the collective understanding of human exposure to hazardous chemicals and developing HBM as an exposure assessment method. Through the use of human biomonitoring, the HBM4EU project will assess the human exposure to chemicals in Europe, to improve understanding of the associated health impacts and to improve chemical risk assessment.

Interestingly, during a panel session of the conference, the heads of two EU agencies (European Chemicals Agency and the European Environment Agency) were asked to consider how to continue the work beyond its scheduled end in 2021, and raised the prospect of creating or changing legislation to require HBM across the region.

A take-away from the event can be that if we like it or not, we are exposed to a mixture of chemicals on a daily basis and this, happens everywhere, but human biomonitoring can help us protect our health and envisage a toxic-free future.