Apel, P., Rousselle, C., Lange, R., Sissoko, F., Kolossa-Gehring, M., & Ougier, E.; “Human biomonitoring initiative (HBM4EU) – Strategy to derive human biomonitoring guidance values (HBM-GVs) for health risk assessment;” International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 2020, 230, 113622; DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2020.113622.
The European Joint Program “HBM4EU” is a joint effort of 30 countries and the European Environment Agency, co-funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program, for advancing and implementing human biomonitoring (HBM) on a European scale and for providing scientific evidence for chemical policy making. One important outcome will be a Europe-wide improvement and harmonization of health risk assessment following the coordinated derivation or update of health-related guidance values referring to the internal body burden. These guidance values – named HBM guidance values or HBM-GVs – can directly be compared with HBM data. They are derived within HBM4EU for priority substances identified by the HBM4EU chemicals prioritization strategy based on existing needs to answer policy relevant questions as raised by national and EU policy makers. HBM-GVs refer to both the general population and occupationally exposed adults. Reports including the detailed reasoning for the values’ proposals are subjected to a consultation process within all partner countries of the consortium to reach a broad scientific consensus on the derivation approach and on the derived values. The final HBM-GVs should be applied first within the HBM4EU project, but may also be useful for regulators and risk assessors outside this project. The subsequent adoption of derived HBM-GVs at EU-level needs to be discussed and decided within the responsible EU bodies. Nevertheless, the establishment of HBM-GVs as part of HBM4EU is already a step forward in strengthening HBM-based policy efforts for public and occupational health. The strategy for deriving HBM-GVs which is based on already existing approaches from the German HBM Commission, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) as well as from the US-based scientific consultant Summit Toxicology, the allocation of a level of confidence to the derived values, and the consultation process within the project are comprehensively described to enlighten the work accomplished under the HBM4EU initiative. FULL TEXT