Rapid Response Mechanism

The rapid response mechanism allows policy makers from the national and European levels to submit requests for specific information to the HBM4EU Consortium.

The aim is to ensure that HBM4EU responds to new and urgent needs for information in the EU policy community and at national level regarding human exposure to chemicals, outside of the formal timeframes for nominating substances in 2017 and 2019.

Information requests can be used to identify available evidence on a particular substance that may be held by partners in the HBM4EU consortium.

More detailed requests may require new surveys on particular chemicals or in particular geographical regions, or may focus on specific vulnerable groups.

Alternatively, requests may require the development of new research activities, or new approaches to data analysis of existing data.

The rapid request mechanism is open to the National Hub Contact Points of HBM4EU partners countries, as well as members of the European Union Policy Board.

An access point for the submission of rapid requests will soon be made available via this webpage.

Key steps in the mechanism:

  1. All requests will be channelled to the HBM4EU Management Board for assessment at their next meeting.
  2. The Management Board will review the request against the five prioritisation criteria established to guide the prioritisation of substances for research under HBM4EU. These include hazardous properties, exposure characteristics, regulatory status, public concern and technical feasibility.
  3. Where additional information is required, a consortium partner with relevant expertise will be requested to produce a background document to support decision making.
  4. The Management Board will decide whether and how to respond to the request, be it through collating existing evidence or by pursuing relevant research under HBM4EU.
  5. A response document will be produced explaining the rationale behind the decision making, be it positive or negative. The National Hub Contact Point and European Union Policy Board will be informed.
  6. All requests will be documented on this webpage, with both the request and the response document made available.

Where the decision is positive, the National Hub Contact Point or European Union Policy Board will be informed and provided with a proposed response. It is expected that request may involve two responses.

  • A first step will be to mobilize the expertise in the HBM4EU Consortium and identify existing evidence that might address the request for additional knowledge. In some cases, this action may be sufficient to respond to the request.
  • Where this is not sufficient, a second and more resource intensive response will be to identify new research activities to be undertaken under HBM4EU in order to fill a gap in the currently available evidence. For a new chemical, a Chemical Group Leader will be identified and will propose activities to address the request. Should the request concern an existing HBM4EU priority substance, the existing Chemical Group Leader will then integrate the activities into the activities planned for that substance. These activities will then be integrated into the next Annual Work Plan to be developed.