Step 1: Online survey

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  3. Step 1: Online survey

The Survey requesting the nomination of substances for research under HBM4EU ran from July to September 2017 and was open to the National Hubs of the 28 countries involved in HBM4EU, as well as members of the Stakeholder Forum and members of the EU Policy Board.

The members of the Stakeholder Forum include:

  • ChemTrust
  • Downstream Users of Chemicals Co-ordination Group (DUCC)
  • Eurometaux
  • European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (UAPME)
  • European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC)
  • European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)
  • European Environmental Bureau (EEB)
  • European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA)
  • European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
  • Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
  • Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF)

The members of the EU Policy Board include:

  • Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE)
  • Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV)
  • Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW)
  • Joint Research Centre (JRC)
  • Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL)
  • Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD)
  • European Environment Agency (EEA)
  • European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

Representatives from each organisation could nominated up to five substances or substance groups, by completing the full online survey for each nomination.

In the survey, participants were asked to nominate the substance or substance group and then to explain the policy-related questions they proposed HBM4EU research activities address. They were also able to propose specific research activities.

We asked survey participants to identify their needs for new knowledge and to describe how they might use that knowledge to generate benefits for society.

We then asked participants to provide information against the prioritisation criteria, as described in Deliverable 4.3 on the prioritisation strategy and criteria. The criteria are:

  • hazardous properties;
  • exposure, including environmental, consumer and occupational exposure pathways;
  • regulatory demand;
  • societal concern; and
  • technical feasibility.

We asked participants to identify specific knowledge gaps that might be addressed by HBM4EU. Participants were encouraged to upload relevant reference materials and articles on the nominated substances or substance groups.

Survey participants were also able to re-nominate substances on the first list of priority substances. The rationale for this was that the first prioritisation exercise was not open to members of the Stakeholder Forum. Allowing for re-nominations allowed the HBM4EU partners to gather input on the research priorities of stakeholders on the substances and substance groups on the 1st list of HBM4EU Priority Substances.

The first list includes the following groups of substances:

  • phthalates and Hexamoll® DINCH,
  • bisphenols,
  • per-/polyfluorinated compounds,
  • flame retardants,
  • cadmium and chromium VI,
  • PAHs,
  • aniline family,
  • chemical mixtures, and
  • emerging substances.

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.