Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

HBM1-UCRA: A Framework for the Development and Application of Environmental Biological Monitoring Guidance Values

Principal Investigator

Prof. Levy Leonard
Cranfield University
Silsoe, Bedfordshire
MK45 4DT 
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1525 863044

Fax: +44 1525 863420


Dr Louise Assem, Institute of Environment and Health (IEH), UK, louise.assem@manganese.org
Dr.Onvair Sepai, Helath Protection Agency (HPA), UK, onvair.sepai@hpa.org.uk
Prof. Juergen Angeren, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (UEN), DE
Dr. John Cocker, Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL), UK, john.cocker@hsl.gov.uk
Ms Kate Jones, Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL), UK, kate.jones@hsl.gov.uk
Prof. Greet Schoeters, Flemish Institute for Technical Research (VITO), BE, greet.schoeters@vito.be

Dr. Roel Smolders, Flemish Institute for Technical Research (VITO), BE, roel.smolders@vito.be


Biomonitoring is a useful tool to aid the assessment of exposure to many chemical substances but currently our ability to detect hazardous substances (or their metabolites and effects) may often exceed our understanding of the biological relevance of these results. There are well-established frameworks for developing and using BGVs in the occupational health field but these are limited in number (<100) and are only for data-rich substances that have been in use for some time. BGVs for new substances and those with undefined dose-response relationships are difficult to derive and the problems are compounded at environmental levels that are far below doses used in toxicity studies or those encountered in the occupational setting. A variety of approaches have been used, misused or are being developed to utilise biomonitoring data from environmental exposures.

The primary objective of this project is to develop and propose a scientifically defensible practical framework for establishing different types of biological monitoring guidance values (BGVs) for the assessment of environmental exposures to a wide range of anthropogenic and naturally occurring environmental contaminants. The framework will also address suggested uses of BGVs and their implications for public health. It is foreseen that the framework would define minimum data requirements for the derivation of BGVs and reflect the reliability and confidence that can be placed upon derived BGVs, e.g. whether based on in vitro, in vivo or QSAR data. Also, just as important, the framework will define guidelines where the setting of such guideline values would be uninformative or even misleading.

Timeline: January 2008 > December 2009

LRI funding: € 294 600

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