Wojciech Wasowicz Nofer – Institute of Occupational Medicine (NIOM), Poland

Arsenic data from Europe – results and policy implications – 27 April – 2:35 pm CEST

Arsenic is a natural element that can be found in rocks and soil, water, air, and in plants and animals. People can also be exposed to arsenic in the environment and in the workplace. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds as Group 1A “carcinogenic to humans” according to the IARC classification. On HBM4EU’s Second List of Priority Substances and Chemical Group Leaders for 2019-2021 Supplemental Report D 4.5, arsenic was ranked #1 on the priority list. Arsenic is a category B chemical for which HBM data exists, but it is not sufficient to get a clear picture of the situation across Europe. European and national authorities are taking legal measures to control arsenic exposure (EU Directives, REACH).  The European Human Biomonitoring Initiative is studying arsenic to scientifically support the European Commission’s public health policy. A flowchart has been developed and agreed with the Executive Board and the EU Policy Board for dealing with arsenic exposure of general populations.


Prof. Dr. med. Wojciech Wąsowicz, head of the Biological and Environmental Monitoring Department at the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland has extensive experience in studying the toxicity of heavy metals and their relationship with trace elements as well as in studies of the metabolism of toxic metals and essential elements. Further he is experienced in oxidative stress, antioxidant enzymes, antioxidant barrier of human body. He is interested in molecular biology and in toxicity testing of chemical substances and preparations in vivo and in vitro as well as the potential protective role of selected antioxidants in exposure to toxic substances and metabolomic profile of workers exposed to chemicals.

He acts as manager or main executor of many scientific projects funded by EU, National Research Council (Poland), or from grants for statutory activities of the unit. Currently, within the international scientific project, “Human Biomonitoring for Europe HBM4EU)”, he plays a role of Chemical Group Leader of arsenic and its compounds in the European Union countries. Prof. Wąsowicz has published a total of 220 full scientific papers. The full papers were mainly published in international journals. The papers have been, so far, cited 3700 times by other authors. The Hirsh index is 31.

Member of the MAC Expert Panel, member of the International Nanotechnology Sub-Working Group in OECD. Member of the Team of Experts evaluating research projects directed for EU funding – Brussels. Vice Chairman of the Commission for Biocidal Products in the Office for Registration of Medicinal Products, Medical Devices and Biocidal Products (Poland). Member of the editorial board of Occupational Medicine, International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health and Trace Elements in Medicine. A multiple reviewer of scientific papers, member of the national authorities of the Polish Society of Toxicology (until last year – President, currently – Vice-President) and a member of EUROTOX and IUTOX. Coordinator of the Polish Center for Trace Elements Research for UNESCO in Lyon (France). Promoter of 4 doctoral theses, reviewer of 5 postdoctoral theses and proceedings for granting the positions of professor.


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.