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COPHES – Consortium to Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale

 
  

The main objective of COPHES is the development of a functional framework allowing the collection of comparable HBM data throughout Europe.

HBM is an important tool to support environment and health policy making. It allows superior quantification of exposure of the general European population to existing and emerging environmental substances. HBM also enables evaluation of policy actions aimed at reducing exposure, more comprehensive health impact assessments of policy options, control of chemical regulations (e.g. REACH), etc.

Starting from an inventory and analysis of similarities and discrepancies in existing and planned HBM studies in different EU Member States, harmonised study protocols will be prepared and tested out in collaboration with DEMOCOPHES, the demonstration study, from 2011 onwards. Although the focus at this stage is given to methyl mercury, cadmium, phthalates as well as environmental tobacco smoke, further substances will be included in the coordinated approach. Measurements thereof depend, however, on priorities and funding possibilities of Member States.

The roadmap will also include:

− an extensive training and capacity building programme for all European countries who express an interest.
− an extended communication strategy targeting not only the scientific community and the individual participants in studies, but also policymakers, stakeholders and the population at large.
− a roadmap for integration of human biomarker data with environmental and health information.
− a section on ethical aspects specific for the collection and storage of human material and biomarker data.

Improved comparability of European HBM data will allow cross boundary evaluation of human exposure and support the elaboration of background levels and guidance values. This will facilitate, for example, the identification of potential high exposure populations or subpopulations and lead to focused research projects.

Website: http://eu-hbm.info/cophes

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