The German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) and the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) consistently work on their joint project in human biomonitoring since 2010. The project aims to develop 50 new detection methods by 2020 so that more chemicals than before can be measured in the human organism. The focus is on chemicals for which no suitable measuring methods exist as yet but to which the general public is potentially exposed to an increasing degree or which can have a particular relevance to health.
So far, 43 chemicals have been selected for the project. For 17 of these substances, the development of new detection methods is finalized, and work is ongoing on 22 further methods. For a few of the selected substances, the development of methods was not completed successfully due to analytical problems. The methods and results are published to make them available worldwide.
The development of analytical methods is work and cost-intensive. The same holds true for their application because reliable studies and the quality assurance of their results are expensive and time-consuming. However, if the developed methods can widen the range of instruments for human biomonitoring in the years to come, this will bring significant new findings of the real burden of major chemicals on the public at large. So far, it is all too often necessary to resort to model assumptions where health risks can be easily over- or underestimated.
- German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), Frankfurt, Germany
- German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), Bonn, Germany