Greet Schoeters – Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Belgium
The use of HBM data for policies, measures or further research – 28 April – 11:40 am CEST
HBM4EU has operated at the science policy nexus and has built a unique partnership between scientists, policy makers and stakeholders. Study design and research activities were targeted towards needs formulated by policy makers. The ambition was to support and accelerate decision making on chemicals regulation using human biomonitoring as a core activity. After 5 years of HBM4EU we look back on what has been accomplished to support policies. We have worked on 17 prioritized chemical substance groups and related policy questions. New HBM data have been obtained, the knowledge base of the priority substances has been broadened. New tools have been developed to facilitate interpretation and use of the results. The main challenge was to translate the scientific results in useful messages for policy makers and to provide options for use of the data and the results to improve protection of EU citizens to hazardous chemicals. Deliberation was pivotal and demonstrated the need for tailored and differentiated uptake of results.
Greet Schoeters is biologist by training and currently Professor Environmental Health affiliated to the University of Antwerp-Belgium. She has directed the programs on Environmental Toxicology and Environmental Health at VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research) for almost 30 years.
Since 2002 she has coordinated the Flemish human biomonitoring program. She has helped to build EU wide human biomonitoring activities through active involvement in the EU projects ESBIO, COPHES, DEMOCOPHES. Currently she is co- coordinator of HBM4EU (https://www.hbm4eu.eu) .
Greet Schoeters served as vice chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Environment Agency (2012-2020) and participated in different risk assessment committees (EFSA, SCHER). She has been president of the European Society for in vitro Toxicology (2008-2012) and is honorary member of ESTIV. Publications from the last years can be found at https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6556-4814 or at schoeters G – Search Results – PubMed (nih.gov).
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.