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HBM in other countries

HBM Germany

Since 1985 the Federal Environmental Agency performs the nationwide and representative German Environmental Surveys (GerES) to analyse the exposure situation of the German population.
Four surveys are already completed. The last survey exclusively concentrates on children aged 3 – 14 years.
The following table (Table 1) presents the surveys’ periods, the number of subjects and the number of examined chemicals. The latter doubled since the beginning of the first German Environmental Survey.

 YearNumber of examined chemicalsNumber of
GerES I1985 - 1986122700
GerES II1990 - 199216400 - 2500
GerES III1998204800
*GerES IV2003 - 2006221800

*children only

The data of the surveys provide the base for the Commission Human Biomonitoring for the deduction and the establishment of the so-called reference values. The reference value of a chemical in a body fluid (e.g. urine, blood) will be collected and therefore the background exposure, the so called current-state, will be defined from a series of measuring results within a defined population and defined area or country. Reference values which are already defined by the commission Human Biomonitoring are available under the following link:

HBM Belgium

In the northern part of Belgium the Flemish biomonitoring pilot project was performed in 1999. In the period of 2001 - 2006 it was continued with the three Flemish biomonitoring campaigns including newborns and their mothers, adolescents as well as older adults. One of the aims is to define reference values as it is already done in Germany.

HBM Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic the Environment Health Monitoring System has been realised since 1994. Since 2005 a subgroup of the whole monitoring system focuses on Human Biomonitoring. In different regions (first 4, then it was extend to 8 regions) heavy metals and trace elements were detected in body fluids (blood, urine and in parts in human milk) of different age groups. The annual summary reports of the monitoring are available under the following link:


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published 2009 the fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, updated in March 2013.
In a series of ongoing assessments more than 200 environmental chemicals or their metabolites are measured in human samples (e.g. urine, blood, serum, breast milk) of 2400 subjects of the U.S. population.
For further information:

HBM Canada

In 2010, Health Canada published the Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada which provides the results from the first cycle of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS).
This survey involved approximately 5600 subjects between age 6 and 79 years. Data were collected between 2007 and 2009 at 15 different sites across the country. The Canadian program runs every second year and is in its third cycle.

Specialist staff: bag-chem@bag.admin.ch
Last updated on: 03.07.2003

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