Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) is a partner in large EU initiative on human biomonitoring, HBM4EU.  It is a joint effort of 28 countries, the European Environment Agency and the
European Commission, co-funded under Horizon 2020.

FIOH contribution builds on its long-standing expertise in the use of biomonitoring in workers’ exposure and risk assessment.

Aims of the project

The project aims to promote the use of human biomonitoring (HBM) data in policy making and risk assessment of chemicals.

Work packages and tasks

FIOH is involved in most of the 16 work packages of the project and coordinates occupational aspects over the project. In addition, FIOH is leading two tasks:

Task 5.3:

Task 5.3 is related to the inclusion of human biomonitoring data in risk assessment and human health impact assessment schemes. Analysis of current practices on the use of human biomonitoring in risk assessment and human health impact assessment schemes was published in the end of 2017. It shows that there is still a need for further support and practical guidance on the use of biomonitoring in risk assessment under different legislative frameworks.

The report is available at: 

Following steps

Sample risk assessments are made using newly generated or existing human biomonitoring data to demonstrate how HBM data can be used in risk assessment.

Task 8.5:

FIOH coordinates a task related to the targeted occupational studies with EU added value. This task aims to bridge gaps in our knowledge of occupational exposure in different occupations when compared to other exposure sources.

In 2018-2019 a targeted occupational study related to the exposure to hexavalent chromium in chrome surface treatment and welding sectors will be performed in a harmonized manner in 8 different countries.

The study is planned to support in the implementation of EU OSH and REACH legislations in their efforts to reduce the occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium. This study will also explore new methods for the biomonitoring of chromium exposure, including the analysis of hexavalent chromium in exhaled breath condensates.

The study plan has been published and the results are available in the end of 2019:

In the following years

Study focusing on diisocyanates, phthalates and bisphenols in construction and plastics sectors will be launched.

Further information

Tiina Santonen, Chief Specialist

Exhaled breath condensates are tested as a new matrix for the biomonitoring of exposure to hexavalent chromium.