The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management is the Programme Owner of HBM4EU in Austria.

EAA, MUI, UMIT, AGES and MUW are members of the Austrian Human Biomonitoring platform and constitute now as the National Hub within HBM4EU.

Experts in science and administration who are active in the field of Human Biomonitoring are working together, under the management of the Environment Agency Austria, on the Austrian Human Biomonitoring platform. The platform was founded in 2007 and has set itself the task to establish Human Biomonitoring to promote health and environmental protection in Austria and to support national prevention targets. Since September 2016 the platform has been an official advisory body of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management in matters relating to the interface between the environment and human health.

In Belgium both a national and a Flemish hub were established. The Flemish hub brings in the past, ongoing and future HBM activities of the Flemish Policy Research Center for Environment and Health (Flemish HBM campaign, data, knowledge etc.). The national hub bundles the HBM activities on a Belgian level (e.g. nation-wide HBM campaign like Democophes). In this framework, the national and the Flemish hub are represented by the same national representatives on EU level. Exchange of knowledge is ensured by participation of the Flemish PO, PM and LTPs in the NEHAP HBM working group.

Belgium has a long lasting cooperation in the field of Environment & Health. All Belgian Ministers of Environment and Health (federal, communal and regional) assemble in the JICEH, the Joint Interministerial Conference Environment and Health. Representatives of the Ministers’ administrations are assembled in the National Cell Health-Environment, which is the executive body for the day to day activities. This structure allows to conduct joint studies and projects concerning health and environment, but also to exchange experiences. Belgium has set up its National Environment-Health Action Plan (NEHAP) in 2003 and will launch a third version of the plan in 2018.
More information on the Belgian cooperation and projects can be found on www.nehap.be

The National Hub of the HBM4EU project in the Czech Republic (CR) consists of the partners with the long-term experience in the area of environment and health. The RECETOX Centre of Masaryk University (MU) coordinating the National Hub has been focused on environmental and human health impacts of toxic chemicals for more than three decades, running international environmental monitoring networks (MONET) as well as birth cohort studies (CELSPAC).

Charles University has been since 1994 – together with the National Institute of Public Health – responsible for national human biomonitoring programme in the CR. Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences has implemented multiple projects addressing health impacts of atmospheric pollution. International Clinical Research Centre (ICRC) of the St. Anne’s University Hospital runs the Kardiovize cohort focused on development of cardiovascular diseases. Biological tissues from the biomonitoring programmes and human cohorts are being analysed in excellent analytical capacities of the accredited laboratories of the Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition of University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, as well as the accredited laboratories of the RECETOX Centre of MU.

Charles University collaborates with the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague on assessment of toxic effects of emerging chemicals. New analytical and toxicological approaches to toxic mixtures of legacy and emerging chemicals are being developed in the RECETOX Centre of MU as well as at University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. National Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic provides a link to the health surveys.

The National Hub closely collaborates with the National Centre (NC) for Toxic Compounds of the CR, a joint activity of the Czech Ministry of Environment and MU. The NC Board consisting of representatives of all relevant ministries as well as non-government organisations acts as a science-to-policy board of the HBM4EU project in the Czech Republic. Capacities of the Regional Centre of the Stockholm Convention for Capacity Building and Technology Transfer in Central and Eastern Europe, hosted by RECETOX, will be used in the future for dissemination and exploitation of the project results.

The German National Hub is the German Human Biomonitoring Commission (HBM Commission) complemented by the German linked third parties of HBM4EU and the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA). The members of the HBM Commission are appointed in person by the president of the German Environment Agency. They are scientists, experts from federal agencies, state authorities, universities, public health institutes and clinical institutions. The permanent guests of the HBM Commission represent the Permanent Working Group of the Highest Health Authorities of the Federal States (AOLG), different ministries and federal agencies. The HBM Commission advises UBA within the field of HBM and derives the German HBM values as well as the reference values.

Iceland

University of Iceland (UI)
Contact Point

In Iceland, human biomonitoring falls both directly and indirectly under the remit of three different governmental agencies: The Directorate of Health (under the Minister of Welfare), The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (under the Ministry of Industries and Innovation) and The Environment Agency of Iceland (under the Ministry for the Environment). When it comes to human biomonitoring these agencies usually work closely with researcher at the University of Iceland and Matis both in terms of sharing of expertise and data.

The HBM4EU initiative provides an excellent opportunity for better sharing of resources and expertise, which will lead to higher level of focus and ambitions for human biomonitoring projects being conducted in the future.

HBM4EU partners in Iceland

HBM4EU linked third parties in Iceland

Ireland

Contact Point

HBM4EU partners in Ireland

HBM4EU linked third parties in Ireland

The Israeli Ministry of Health collects biological samples for HBM as part of its National Health and Nutrition Survey. Activities within HBM4EU include:

  • Input of Israel HBM data for data sharing and harmonization
  • Evaluating experiences on using Health and Nutrition surveys as a platform for HBM
  • Sharing data and expertise on evaluating exposure to pesticide mixtures

The Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) – The Italian National Institute of Health – is the leading technical and scientific public body of the Italian National Health Service. Its activities include research, control, training and consultation in the interest of public health protection. The ISS is involved in collaboration and consultation with other institutions responsible for public health, including the Ministry of Health, the regional health authorities, local health agencies and hospitals.

In particular, the Department of Environment and Health has the mission to protect the human population through the definition and control of types and sources of chemical and biological risks, especially of environmental origin. It defines guidelines for the implementation of environmental (bio) monitoring programs and proposes preventive measures for risk management and reduction. Scientific activities include studies on exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents, and their effects on human health and on environment (water, air, soil). Special consideration is given to: persistent toxic pollutants (PTS such as PAHs, dioxins, PCBs, flame retardants); plant protection products and residues; pesticides, metals; powders and fibers; natural toxins; mutagenic and carcinogenic substances. Research on toxicity mechanisms – using advanced techniques, alternative methods, chemobiokinetic studies and the identification of biomarkers – aims at characterizing health risks in the population, in sensitive groups (e.g. children, pregnant women) and in groups that are particularly susceptible on account of genetic and/or acquired factors.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) is a governmental institution placed directly under the Ministry of Health and Care Services (PO). The institute is a national centre in the areas of epidemiology, mental health, infectious diseases control, environmental medicine and drug abuse.  The NIPH is PM in HBM4EU and the National Hub Contact Point in Norway.

NIPH will be involved in all pillars of HBM4EU and will act as an advisor and co-worker for the handling, evaluation and interpretation of all biomonitoring data. In addition, NIPH foresees to be contributing to the chemical analyses to be undertaken in the course of the project, and furthermore, with samples and data from the Norwegian Environmental Biobank. NIPH will also contribute with toxicological expertise covering toxico-kinetics, adverse outcomes, mode of action, adverse outcome pathways and biomarker of effects development. NIPH’s toxicology-, analyses- and nutrition experts have longstanding experience with all aspects of biomonitoring; from planning and implementing studies to clinical investigations, data handling, statistics and writing up and communicating results.

The activities within the Swedish National Hub are in many ways connected to the Swedish national Health Related Monitoring Programme, which is a part of the monitoring programme coordinated by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, the Swedish National Hub can gain experience from other research programmes that the partners and linked third parties are involved in.

The Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM) host data collected in national and regional health-related environmental monitoring in Sweden. Data and reports prepared within the framework of the Swedish Health Related Monitoring Programme are available here.