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Major national human biomonitoring programs in chemical exposure assessment

1 BiPRO GmbH, Munich, Germany;
2 Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Special Issues: Human biomonitoring and health impacts of existing and emerging environmental contaminants

Human biomonitoring (HBM) programs have been established in several countries around the world in order to monitor the levels of chemical exposures in the general population and qualify health risk assessment of national and international interest. Study design, population, sample collection, and chemical analysis must be considered when comparing and interpreting the results. In this review, the objectives and brief descriptions of the major national HBM programs in North America, Europe, and Asia are provided. Similarities and differences observed from a comparative analysis among these programs, including the stratification of data according to age, sex, socioeconomic background, etc. as well as the identification of chemical exposure associated with food intake, are discussed. Overall, although there are some discrepancies in the study designs among the reviewed national HBM programs, results from the programs can provide useful information such as chemical levels found within the general population of a country that can be compared. Furthermore, the results can be used by regulatory authorities or the government to enforce legislations in order to reduce the exposure of chemicals into the human body.
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