The European Human Biomonitoring Initiative

The European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU) is a joint effort of 26 countries (including 22 European Member States, three associated countries and Switzerland) and the European Commission, co-funded by Horizon 2020.

HBM4EU has emerged in the context of the need for more harmonized information about the exposure of citizens to chemicals and their interplay with other concurrent environmental exposures. HBM4EU is also focused on the impact of such exposure on health, an especially relevant health environmental topic due to the current dearth of reliable risk assessment and management of chemicals. This need is conveyed by the European Union’s 7th Environmental Action Programme that sets the goal of assessing and minimising risks to the environment and health associated with the use of hazardous substances by 2020.

The overarching goal of HBM4EU is to generate knowledge to inform the safe management of chemicals and so to protect human health. Human biomonitoring will also be used to understand human exposure to chemicals and resulting health impacts, as well as to communicate with policy makers, to ensure that the results are exploited in the development of political regulations concerning chemical and in the evaluation of existing measures.

Key objectives of the Initiative include:
  • To harmonize procedures for human biomonitoring across 26 countries, in order to provide policy makers with comparable data on human internal exposure to chemicals and mixtures of chemicals at EU level;
  • To link data of internal exposure to specific chemicals to aggregate external exposures and to identify exposure pathways and upstream sources. Information on exposure pathways is critical to the design of targeted policy measures to reduce exposure;
  • To generate scientific evidence on the causal links between human exposure to chemicals and adverse health outcomes;
  • To integrate human biomonitoring data into current chemical risk assessment methodologies and to account for the contribution of multiple external exposure pathways to the total chemical body burden.

HBM4EU will run for five years, from 2017 to 2021, envisioning the establishment of a sustainable programme. The first year will be largely dedicated to collect and collate existing human biomonitoring data for the nine prioritised substance groups, making data available, as appropriate, via the Information Platform for Chemical Monitoring, and to determine which current policy questions can be answered using existing data. This will allow the evaluation of the extent to which a solid database of comparable human biomonitoring data from across the EU can be subject to systematic analysis, thereby providing answers to key policy questions.

Main questionnaire

To access the main questionnaire please use the following link:

Questionnaire on occupational exposure

To access the questionnaire on occupational exposure please use the following link:


Institute of Environmental Health (ISAMB)
Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon (FMUL)
Av. Professor Egas Moniz,
1649-028 Lisboa

Phone: +351 21 799 9422