Human biomonitoring (HBM)

Human Biomonitoring

A method to assess human exposure to chemicals

In our daily lives, we are constantly exposed to a wide variety of chemicals. With human biomonitoring, it is possible to determine whether and to what extent these substances enter our bodies. Human biomonitoring measures the concentrations of chemical substances in human body fluids or tissues. For example, blood lead levels can be determined for an individual or for a population group. Based on toxicological and epidemiological data, conclusions may then be drawn concerning possible health effects of exposure.

What is human biomonitoring (HBM)?

Human biomonitoring is used to assess whether and to what extent the population is exposed to harmful substances. If necessary, measures can then be taken to protect public health.

Human biomonitoring projects in Switzerland…

At the moment, no representative picture of public exposure to chemicals is available for Switzerland. Therefore, the benefits and limits of a national health study with human biomonitoring are currently investigated by means of a pilot study.

…and abroad

Many countries have established human biomonitoring programmes giving an overview of the chemical exposure in the general population. Recently, multidisciplinary studies linking biomonitoring data to other health-related data have been implemented.

Last modification 12.06.2023

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