Step 5: Producing background documents on short list substances

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Producing draft background documents for substances on the short list

In order to ensure that all the information submitted by survey participants on substances on the short list was systematically fed into the prioritisation of substances, we produced draft background documents.

These documents started by identifying the substances or substance groups concerned, as well as which National Hubs or stakeholders nominated the substance or group. Knowledge gaps and  research activities proposed by survey participants are also included.

The documents went on to systematically organise all the evidence submitted against the prioritisation criteria by survey participants. The documents clearly identify which actors submitted what information, in the interest of transparency.

The sections of the background documents are:

  1. Substance identification
  2. Actors that nominated the substances or group
  3. Overview of the information submitted
  4. Knowledge gaps and proposed research activities
  5. Hazardous properties
  6. Exposure characteristics
  7. Regulation and policy
  8. Public concern
  9. Technical feasibility
  10. References
  11. Contacts of actors nominating substances

The draft background documents for substances on the short list can be downloaded here.

Please note that section 11 of the background documents has been deleted from the versions available for download, in order to respect the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation.

Expert review and revision of background documents

The short list and the draft background documents were presented and discussed at a meeting of work package 4 partners, including EEA, ANSES, VITO, UBA and INRA, in November 2017.

Partners discussed how to tackle the quality of evidence assessed in the background documents. We agreed that the experts reviewing the documents would assess whether evidence was of sufficient quality for inclusion on the basis of their expertise.

From November 2017 to February 2018, experts reviewed the background documents and revised them to include any missing information on hazard properties, exposure characteristics, regulatory status, public concern and technical feasibility for HBM measurement. The choice of partners to review the background documents was based on their expertise on specific substances.

The revised background documents for substances on the short list can be downloaded here.


The HBM4EU project was launched in 2016 with the aim of improving the collective understanding of human exposure to hazardous chemicals and developing HBM as an exposure assessment method. The project had €74m in funding and jointly implemented by 120 partners from 28 participating countries – 24 EU member states plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Israel and the European Environment Agency. One of its aims was to ensure the sustainability of HBM in the EU beyond 2021. The project ended in June 2022. The website will not be updated any longer, except the page on peer reviewed publications, but will be online until 2032.