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Munchen, Germany

Joas R.,BiPRO GmbH | Casteleyn L.,Catholic University of Leuven | Biot P.,FPS Health | Kolossa-Gehring M.,Federal Environment Agency | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health | Year: 2012

Human biomonitoring (HBM) can be an effective tool to assess human exposure to environmental pollutants and potential health effects and is increasingly seen as an essential element in a strategy when integrating health and environment. HBM can be used (i) to prioritise actions and measures for policy making; (ii) to evaluate policy actions aimed at reducing exposure to potentially hazardous environmental stressors; and (iii) to promote more comprehensive health impact assessments of policy options.In support of the European Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010, European scientists, experts from authorities and other stakeholders joined forces to work towards developing a functional framework and standards for a coherent HBM in Europe.Within the European coordination action on human biomonitoring, 35 partners from 27 European countries in the COPHES consortium aggregated their experiences and expertise and developed harmonized approaches and recommendations for better comparability of HBM data in Europe via the elaboration of a harmonized study protocol. This protocol is the product of discussion and compromises on the selection of environmental exposures, national environmental health concerns, and political and health priorities. The harmonised approach includes sampling recruitment, and analytical procedures, communication strategies and biobanking initiatives. The protocols and the harmonised approach are a means to increase acceptance and policy support and to in the future to enable determination of time trends.The common pilot study protocol will shortly be tested, adapted and assessed in the framework of the DEMOCOPHES in 17 European countries, including 16 EU Member States.COPHES and DEMOCOPHES constitute important steps towards establishing human biomonitoring as a tool for EU environmental and health policy and to improve quantification of exposure of the general European population to existing and emerging pollutants. © 2011. Source

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2009. | Award Amount: 5.07M | Year: 2009

This proposal has been elaborated by a consortium of 35 partners coming from 27 European countries and including scientists, government institutions and authorities, NGOs and industry. The main goal is to develop a coherent approach to HBM in Europe as requested by ACTION 3 of the EU Environment and Health Action Plan through coordination of ongoing and planned HBM activities. The project will exploit existing and planned HBM projects and programmes of work and capabilities in Europe. The consortium will investigate what is needed to advance and improve comparability of HBM data across Europe. Work prepared under DG Research and DG Environment activities dealing with development, validation and use of novel biomarkers including non-invasive markers and effect markers will be exploited. Through close collaboration with similar initiatives in the field of Health - such as the EU Health Examination Survey - appropriate economies and efficiencies will be assessed. Key issues such as Ethics and human Biobanks will be addressed. The project will deliver a number of key outputs including: 1. Tested Proofs of Concept and/or Demonstration project assessing the feasibility of a coordinated approach, including strategies for data interpretation & integration with environmental and health data. 2. A rationale and strategy for communication and dissemination of information, results and key messages to all stakeholders from the public to policy makers 3. Training and capacity building will aim to promote knowledge and experience exchange and development in the field of HBM within Europe A common understanding within all parties involved on the potential of HMB in supporting and evaluating current/future policy making (including e.g. REACH) and for environmental health awareness raising will be promoted This project aim is to significantly advance the process towards a fully operational, continuous, sustainable and scientifically sound EU HBM programme.

Moser F.,University of Ferrara | Jakl T.,Federal Ministry for Agriculture | Joas R.,BiPRO GmbH | Dondi F.,University of Ferrara
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2014

Chemical Leasing is a service-oriented business model that shifts the focus from increasing sales volume of chemicals towards a value-added approach. Recent pilot projects have shown the economic benefits of introducing Chemical Leasing business models in a broad range of sectors. A decade after its introduction, the promotion of Chemical Leasing is still predominantly done by the public sector and international organizations. We show in this paper that awareness-raising activities to disseminate information on this innovative business model mainly focus on the economic benefits. We argue that selling Chemical Leasing business models solely on the grounds of economic and ecological considerations falls short of branding it as a corporate social responsibility initiative, which, for this paper, is defined as a stakeholder-oriented concept that extends beyond the organization’s boundaries and is driven by an ethical understanding of the organization’s responsibility for the impact of its business activities. For the analysis of Chemical Leasing business models, we introduce two case studies from the water purification and metal degreasing fields, focusing on employees and local communities as two specific stakeholder groups of the company introducing Chemical Leasing. The paper seeks to demonstrate that Chemical Leasing business models can be branded as a corporate social responsibility initiative by outlining the vast potential of Chemical Leasing to improve occupational health and safety and to strengthen the ability of companies to protect the environment from the adverse effects of the chemicals they apply. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Pirard C.,Laboratory of Clinical | Koppen G.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research | De Cremer K.,Scientific Institute of Public Health | Van Overmeire I.,Scientific Institute of Public Health | And 24 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

A harmonized human biomonitoring pilot study was set up within the frame of the European projects DEMOCOPHES and COPHES. In 17 European countries, biomarkers of some environmental pollutants, including urinary cadmium and hair mercury, were measured in children and their mothers in order to obtain European-wide comparison values on these chemicals. The Belgian participant population consisted in 129 school children (6-11. years) and their mothers (≤. 45. years) living in urban or rural areas of Belgium.The geometric mean levels for mercury in hair were 0.383. μg/g and 0.204. μg/g for respectively mothers and children. Cadmium in mother's and children's urine was detected at a geometric mean concentration of respectively 0.21 and 0.04. μg/l. For both biomarkers, levels measured in the mothers and their child were correlated. While the urinary cadmium levels increased with age, no trend was found for hair mercury content, except the fact that mothers hold higher levels than children. The hair mercury content increased significantly with the number of dental amalgam fillings, explaining partially the higher levels in the mothers by their higher presence rate of these amalgams compared to children. Fish or seafood consumption was the other main parameter determining the mercury levels in hair. No relationship was found between smoking status and cadmium or mercury levels, but the studied population included very few smokers. Urinary cadmium levels were higher in both mothers and children living in urban areas, while for mercury this difference was only significant for children. Our small population showed urinary cadmium and hair mercury levels lower than the health based guidelines suggested by the WHO or the JECFA (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives). Only 1% had cadmium level slightly higher than the German HBM-I value (1. μg/l for adults), and 9% exceeded the 1. μg mercury/g hair suggested by the US EPA. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Becker K.,Federal Environment Agency UBA | Seiwert M.,Federal Environment Agency UBA | Casteleyn L.,Catholic University of Leuven | Joas R.,BiPRO GmbH | And 15 more authors.
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health | Year: 2014

The objective of COPHES (Consortium to Perform Human biomonitoring on a European Scale) was to develop a harmonised approach to conduct human biomonitoring on a European scale. COPHES developed a systematic approach for designing and conducting a pilot study for an EU-wide cross-sectional human biomonitoring (HBM) study and for the implementation of the fieldwork procedures. The approach gave the basis for discussion of the main aspects of study design and conduct, and provided a decision making tool which can be applied to many other studies. Each decision that had to be taken was listed in a table of options with their advantages and disadvantages. Based on this the rationale of the decisions could be explained and be transparent. This was important because an EU-wide HBM study demands openness of all decisions taken to encourage as many countries as possible to participate and accept the initiative undertaken.Based on this approach the following study design was suggested: a cross-sectional study including 120 children aged 6-11 years and their mothers aged up to 45 years from each participating country. For the pilot study the children should be sampled in equal shares in an urban and a rural location. Only healthy children and mothers (no metabolic disturbances) should be included, who have a sufficient knowledge of the local language and have been living at least for 5 years at the sampling location. Occupational exposure should not be an exclusion criterion. Recruitment should be performed via inhabitant registries or schools as an alternative option. Measures suitable to increase the response rate should be applied. Preferably, the families should be visited at home and interviewed face-to-face. Various quality control measures to guarantee a good fieldwork performance were recommended.This comprehensive overview aims to provide scientists, EU officials, partners and stakeholders involved in the EU implementation process full transparency of the work carried out in COPHES. Thus this report presents the discussion and consensus in COPHES on the main aspects of designing and conducting fieldwork of a human biomonitoring study. Furthermore, it provides an example for a systematic approach that may be useful to other research groups or pan-European research initiatives. In the study protocol that will be published elsewhere these aspects are elaborated and additional aspects are covered (Casteleyn et al., 2012). Meanwhile the respective pilot study DEMOCOPHES had been conducted and assessed. The results and lessons learned will be published elsewhere. © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. Source

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