After 3 years of work, COPHES/DEMOCOPHES have demonstrated that a more coordinated and harmonised approach to human biomonitoring (HBM) in Europe is not only possible but also useful to protect the health of Europeans in the future. For the first time we have results which are comparable across Europe. Biomarkers for chemicals of concern were measured in the hair and urine of almost 4000 mothers and children in 17 European countries.
HBM has proven to be an important tool for the protection of human health as it provides a direct measure of the levels of environmental chemicals in the human body. HBM can be used to assess and track trends (both temporally and spatially) in the level of exposure of the public to environmental pollutants and can be used to inform or monitor policy measures. The results from COPHES/DEMOCOPHES show variations between countries, indicating that there are differences in exposures across Europe. Understanding the factors which lead to these differences such as contamination of water, food, or consumer products, or difference in life styles, etc. will lead to evidence based policy decisions. However, to ensure that HBM is a timely and effective tool, Europe needs a structure that will allow suitable coordination and organization at a EU level. The need for a European HBM framework is now widely recognised. For more information click here.
National Symposia have been organised to discuss results with the participants and stakeholders in each of the countries. The milestones and key findings of DEMOCOPHES are explained in the and in a shortened version of the technical report. Scientific publications providing further details are in preparation.