Pilar Aparico Azcárraga – General Director of Public Health, Spain

Lessons learnt from HBM4EU in Spain – 27 April – 11:45 am CEST

The Strategic Plan for Health and the Environment, approved in Spain last November, considers, among its main lines of activity, the development of a Human Biomonitoring structure. This structure allows for the fulfilment of the objectives of the aforementioned plan in relation to the study and monitoring of exposure to chemical substances amongst the Spanish population, designing specific policies focused on reducing exposure, in order to protect and improve population’s health. In this way, Spain will be able to count on a stable and sustainable HBM program coordinated by the Ministry of Health and Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) and with the participation of the Autonomous Regions. HBM4EU initiative has been pivotal for promoting and integrating HBM into the Spanish Strategic Plan for Health and the Environment.


Current position: Director General of Public Health (Ministry of Health Spain)
Academic degrees: Degree of Medicine, Diploma in Tropical Medicine, Medical Doctor (PhD),
Specialization in Internal Medicine (MIR)
Main areas of research interest: Infectious diseases and microbiology applied to Public Health; Global health
Author of 32 peer-reviewed research publications
Main research projects: Health Cooperation Projects
Research project to support the Public Health Laboratory of Equatorial Guinea on: “Diagnostic and reference of Sexual Transmitted Infections” and control of Tuberculosis; Malaria; HIV and other NTD.
Researcher for WHO: “Assessment of the outbreak of Visceral Leishmaniasis in Libo (Amhara State)” and “Control of Leishmaniasis in the Horn of Africa” Direction of a Cooperation programme against AIDS and other prevalent diseases in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Haití.
Throughout her professional career, she has carried out different tasks in clinical-care areas (University Hospital of Mostoles in Madrid, Hospital Teodoro Álvarez, in Buenos Aires, Argentina); research applied to the epidemiology of infectious diseases (National Center for Microbiology of the ISCIII and Central Public Health Laboratory of England), teaching and activities related to international public health and technical scientific cooperation, aimed at strengthening public health systems and control of communicable diseases World
Health Organization (WHO) and National Center of Tropical Medicine of ISCIII in different countries of Latin America and Africa.


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.