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BIOMONITORING OF CHEMICALS

Biomonitoring is the measurement and monitoring of changes in organisms, tissues, fluids, cells or biochemical processes resulting from exposure to chemicals organism. Biomonitoring in the strict sense refers to the measurement of concentrations of chemicals in the blood, urine, seminal fluid, breath, breast milk, hair, nails, or in tissue, for example. subcutaneous adipose tissue.

 

As set out in Article 51a of the Chemicals Act (Off. Gazette no. 110/03 - official consolidated text, 47/04-ZdZPZ, 61/06-ZBioP and 16/08-Kem-B) monitoring is carried out on the presence of chemicals and their degradation products in humans and organisms (hereinafter referred to as biomonitoring) with the aim of preparing and monitoring measures to limit the risks of chemicals to humans and the environment, in the intervals that are technically justified.

 

The provisions in this article are without prejudice to the provisions on monitoring at the workplace, which are governed by regulations on health and safety at work.

 

Biomonitoring is coordinated by the Chemicals Office of the Republic of Slovenia, prepared and implemented by health and other public institutes – biomonitoring performers. They are obliged to cooperate with the Chemicals Office and to each other in the preparation of biomonitoring programme, its interministerial coordination, its implementation, preparation of expert assessments and proposals for action. Conditions regarding the professional and technical competency are defined by the minister - Rules on the conditions regarding professional and technical competence of public institutions for monitoring chemicals and their degradation products (Off. Gazette no. 91/2006).

 

The purpose of biomonitoring is generating data for the preparation and monitoring of measures to limit the risks of chemicals to humans and the environment:
• Identifying and assessing trends of population exposure to selected chemicals that pose a health risk,
• Evaluating the relationship between dose and effect of chemicals on health,
• Determine the behavior of a chemical substance in the organism (kinetics)
• Preparation of risk assessment for human health,
• Preparation of proposals for action and monitor the effectiveness of risk reduction measures,
• Identifying and studying the sources of human exposure to chemicals.

 

The purpose of biomonitoring of chemicals is also monitoring the measures taken on the basis of the articles 49, 50 and 51 of the Chemicals Act. These measures are:
- Prohibitions and restrictions on trade or use of hazardous chemicals in the Republic of Slovenia,
- Temporary restrictions or prohibitions on production, trade or use of hazardous chemicals, the introduction of measures to guide the production, transport or use, and the introduction of other measures,
- Examining the imposed measures when  new insights into the chemicals are available.

 

National Hub was founded by nine institutions in January 2016 with signing of the  Agreement on establishment of national hub for cooperation in human biomonitoring. It represents a national forum aimed at creating a platform for the expansion of knowledge and strenthening of cooperation between science and policy in the field of human biomonitoring, both at national and international levels, with the aim of improving the situation in the field of population exposure to chemicals and their health.

 

You can read more about biomonitoring on the website http://www.biomonitoring.si.

European Initiative for Human biomonitoring (EHBMI)
The project HBM4EU is a joint effort of 26 countries, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission, co-funded under Horizon 2020. Running from 2017 to 2021, HBM4EU will generate knowledge to inform the safe management of chemicals and so protect human health in Europe. HBM4EU will coordinate and advance human biomonitoring in Europe and so provide better evidence of the actual exposure of citizens to chemicals. In addition, we will provide a robust interpretation of human biomonitoring data and the possible impact of chemical exposure on human health, using the most up to date scientific tools. HBM4EU partners will effectively communicate results to policy makers, ensuring their exploitation in the design of new chemicals policies and the evaluation of existing measures.


This initiative contributes directly to the improvement of health and well-being for all citizens, by investigating how exposure to chemicals affects the health of different vulnerable groups, such as children, pregnant women and workers.


Data used and produced under HBM4EU will be made accessible via IPCHEM – the Information Platform for Chemical Monitoring. IPCHEM is the European Commission’s reference access point for searching, accessing and retrieving chemical occurrence data collected and managed in Europe.


In this project the Chemicals Office of the RS is the programme  owner (co-financing) and a contact point of the National Hub, with all the existing performers of the national human biomonitoring participating in the HBM4EU: Jožef Stefan Institute, National Institute of Public Health, Clinical Institute of Occupational Medicine, Traffic And Sport. Indirectly participate also: the National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Food, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, Department of Food Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection,  Public Research Agency and the National Institute of Biology.

 

In May 2017 a common online platform was launched by the European Environment Agency (EEA): https://www.hbm4eu.eu/