HEAL’s action on biomonitoring

Over 100 synthetic chemicals may be found in our blood stream
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By measuring the presence and levels of chemicals the human body takes up from the environment , Human Biomonitoring can help policy makers understand trends and alert them to emerging threats. It can be used to form environment and health policies to reduce public exposure to harmful chemicals.

Human Biomonitoring is the gathering and analysing of samples of human tissues or body fluids (e.g. blood, urine, saliva, breast milk, nails, hair) to identify the presence and levels of chemicals the human body takes up from the environment. This form of monitoring shows populations that are exposed to and potentially affected by pollutants more accurately than estimates based on measurements in soil, water, air, food and consumer products.

In the EU, human biomonitoring has been carried out by individual member state programmes, often in different ways which prevent comparison of data between countries, and conclusions about the European population in general. By contrast, the USA’s annual National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey gathers a wealth of data which is representative of the entire population’s exposure to pollutants.

The EU is now conducting a pilot project of coordinated EU-wide biomonitoring, which if successful will start European-level biomonitoring. HEAL is a partner in the project advising on policy matters and communications.

Press Release: EU biomonitoring shows mothers and children exposed to harmful chemicals (25/10/2012)

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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Press: Elke Zander

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