Tiina Santonen – Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH)

Policy implications from the occupational studies – 28 April – 12:40 pm CEST

Within HBM4EU, occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)), electronic-waste (E-waste) and diisocyanates, was assessed through targeted multi-national studies. Studies included the use of a broad spectrum of markers of exposure and early effects.

Cr(VI) and diisocyanates are regulated in EU under REACH and OSH legislations and have been subjects of regulatory actions to improve their risk management at the workplaces. Data produced within HBM4EU supports the implementation of these regulatory actions and national enforcement programs and may contribute to the updating of occupational limit values (OELs) for Cr (VI). Diisocyanate data is expected to support the OEL setting and the practical implementation of OELs in EU.

European data on exposure in E-waste recycling activities is currently limited although there is potential exposure to several hazardous substances, including carcinogenic and reprotoxic metals, phthalates, and flame retardants. The data generated contributes for improving the management of these currently underrecognized risks and provides relevant information in the scope of circular economy.


Tiina Santonen (MD, PhD, MSc in Applied Toxicology) is working as a research professor at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. She is specialized in occupational toxicology, biomonitoring and chemical risk assessment and has several publications in these fields. She is heavily involved in regulatory chemical risk assessment and management activities in Finland and EU. She is a former member of EU Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) and a current member of ECHA’s Risk Assessment Committee (RAC). Within HBM4EU she has led occupational biomonitoring surveys performed within WP8 (task 8.5) and risk assessment activities within WP5 (task 5.3).



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.