Recent publications at a glance

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Biomonitoring for occupational exposure to diisocyanates: a systematic review

This year, within the HBM4EU project, an occupational field study will be organized to assess di-isocyanate exposure. To prepare for this study we conducted a systematic review on biomonitoring data for occupational exposures to di-isocyanates. We aimed to:

  1. Identify biomarkers and matrices that have been used for biomonitoring diisocyanates and understand strengths and limitations;
  2. Assess current biomonitoring levels of the major diisocyanates (and metabolites) in workers; and
  3. characterize potential research gaps.

After critical appraisal of all retrieved studies, we were left with 28 publications. We found large variability within and between studies and across sectors. We emphasized in the discussion the value of studies such as HBM4EU, where significant effort has gone into ensuring that results from different studies and countries within the project are comparable.

Scholten, B., Kenny, L., Duca, R.C., Pronk, A., Santonen, T., Galea, K.S., Loh, M., Huumonen, K., Sleeuwenhoek, A., Creta, M. and Godderis, L., 2020. Biomonitoring for Occupational Exposure to Diisocyanates: A Systematic Review. Annals of Work Exposures and Health.

Comparison of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolite concentrations in urine of mothers and their newborns

The aim of our study was to assess the concentration of 11 monohydroxylated metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (OH-PAHs) in 660 urine samples collected from mothers and their newborns residing in two localities of the Czech Republic – Most and Ceske Budejovice – in 2016 and 2017. 2-OH-NAP was the compound present in all of the measured samples, and it was also the compound at the highest concentration in both mothers’ and newborns’ urine samples. Overall concentrations of OH-PAHs in urine samples collected from mothers were two times higher compared to their children. The most contaminated samples were collected in Most from both mothers (12.59 µg/g creatinine) and their newborns (8.29 µg/g creatinine). The concentrations of OH-PAHs in urine samples collected from mothers and their newborns presented in this study are comparable with those found in our previous study, and they are comparable to other studies from Poland, USA, Germany, China, and Australia.

Urbancova, K., Dvorakova, D., Gramblicka, T., Sram, R.J., Hajslova, J. and Pulkrabova, J., 2020. Comparison of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolite concentrations in urine of mothers and their newborns. Science of The Total Environment, p.138116.


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.