Setting up a collaborative European human biological monitoring study on occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium


The EU human biomonitoring initiative, HBM4EU, aims to co-ordinate and advance human biomonitoring (HBM) across Europe. Within its remit, the project is gathering new, policy relevant, EU-wide data on occupational exposure to relevant priority chemicals and developing new approaches for occupational biomonitoring. In this study, the hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] study design is presented as the first example of this HBM4EU approach. This study involves eight European countries and plans to recruit 400 workers performing Cr(VI) surface treatment e.g. electroplating or stainless- steel welding activities. The aim is to collect new data on current occupational exposure to Cr(VI) in Europe and to test new methods for Cr biomonitoring, specifically the analysis of Cr(VI) in exhaled breath condensate (EBC) and Cr in red blood cells (RBC) in addition to traditional urinary total Cr analyses. Furthermore, exposure data will be complemented with early biological effects data, including genetic and epigenetic effects. Personal air samples and wipe samples are collected in parallel to help informing the biomonitoring results. We present standard operational procedures (SOPs) to support the harmonised methodologies for the collection of occupational hygiene and HBM samples in different countries.

Authors: Santonen T, Alimonti A, Bocca B, Duca RC, Galea KS, Godderis L, Göen T, Gomes B, Hanser O, Iavicoli I, Janasik B, Jones K, Kiilunen M, Koch HM, Leese E, Leso V, Louro H, Ndaw S, Porras SP, Robert A, Ruggieri F, Scheepers PTJ, Silva MJ, Viegas S, Wasowicz W, Castano A, Sepai O.
; Full Source: Environmental Research. 2019 Jul 10; 177:108583. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.108583. [Epub ahead of print]