Exposure and stress in the working-age population – Exposome Project for Health and Occupational Research – EPHOR

Work-related exposure and excessive stress can lead to illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases. The overall disease burden caused by work-related disorders is estimated at about 5–7%, corresponding to the impact of outdoor air pollution or obesity. The links between work-related exposure and state of health are complex, and new tools are needed to gather information. In this project, we apply the exposome concept to illustrate the connections between the environment and diseases.
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The aim of the exposome concept is to describe the share of all the exposure agents and stress factors that affect us in our living environment throughout our lives. In this project, we use the concept to illustrate the connection between the environment and diseases. We determine the factors included in the exposome during a person’s working-age life. It includes work-related exposure agents and stress factors, but also lifestyle and behavioural factors. 

Data and methods

Researchers from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health will be involved in the project, particularly in harmonizing the evaluation of the information contained in large exposure databases and in establishing a new database linking this information. In the future, new research data can also be added to this new EPHOR database. 

Results and impact

Determining the exposome during a person’s working-age life is a major step in occupational health research. The exposome makes it easier to understand the link between different work-related exposures and stress factors and diseases at different stages of life. 

The EPHOR project will create methods and tools to characterize and utilize the exposome during a person’s working-age life in science, decision-making and practical occupational health care. This will, among other things, reduce the burden on European health care systems caused by national diseases while improving citizens' health, well-being and productivity at work. All this will also improve the competitiveness of EU industry. 

Our experts

Svetlana Solovieva

Svetlana Solovieva

Svetlana.Solovieva [at]
+358 30 474 2402

Project group

Sanni Uuksulainen, Milja Koponen, Taina Leinonen, Eira Viikari-Juntura


The project involves 19 partners from 12 EU countries. The co-ordinator is TNO from the Netherlands. 


The project is funded by EU Horizon 2020 , grant no. 874703.