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Environ Res. 2018 Jul;164:597-624. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.02.041. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

Biomarkers of exposure in environment-wide association studies - Opportunities to decode the exposome using human biomonitoring data.

Author information

1
University Hospital Munich, WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health, Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Unit Global Environmental Health, Ziemssenstr. 1, D-80336 Munich, Germany; Department of Public Health and Health Technology Assessment, Universityfor Health Sciences, Medical Computer Science and Technology, Eduard-Wallnöfer-Zentrum 1, A-6060 Hall in Tirol, Austria. Electronic address: Nadine.Steckling@med.uni-muenchen.de.
2
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Engineering, Building D, University Campus, GR-54124, Greece.
3
University Hospital Munich, WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health, Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Unit Global Environmental Health, Ziemssenstr. 1, D-80336 Munich, Germany; Department of Public Health and Health Technology Assessment, Universityfor Health Sciences, Medical Computer Science and Technology, Eduard-Wallnöfer-Zentrum 1, A-6060 Hall in Tirol, Austria.
4
National Centre for Scientific Research "Demokritos", Neapoleos 27, 15310 Athens, Greece.
5
Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, Centre for Epidemiology, Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester M13 9BL, United Kingdom.
6
University Hospital Munich, WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health, Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Unit Global Environmental Health, Ziemssenstr. 1, D-80336 Munich, Germany; Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research - Spanish Council for Scientific Research, Barcelona, Spain.
7
Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research - Spanish Council for Scientific Research, Barcelona, Spain.
8
Jožef Stefan Institute, Department of Environmental Sciences, Jamova cesta 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.
9
University of Bath, UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, Department for Health Bath BA2 7AY, United Kingdom.
10
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Department of Environmental Epidemiology, 8 Teresy Street, 91-348 Lodz, Poland.
11
Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain.
12
University Hospital Munich, WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health, Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Unit Global Environmental Health, Ziemssenstr. 1, D-80336 Munich, Germany.
13
Green Infrastructure Ltd., Fallerovo setaliste 22, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia.
14
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek, Zeist, The Netherlands.
15
Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The European Union's 7th Framework Programme (EU's FP7) project HEALS - Health and Environment-wide Associations based on Large Population Surveys - aims a refinement of the methodology to elucidate the human exposome. Human biomonitoring (HBM) provides a valuable tool for understanding the magnitude of human exposure from all pathways and sources. However, availability of specific biomarkers of exposure (BoE) is limited.

OBJECTIVES:

The objective was to summarize the availability of BoEs for a broad range of environmental stressors and exposure determinants and corresponding reference and exposure limit values and biomonitoring equivalents useful for unraveling the exposome using the framework of environment-wide association studies (EWAS).

METHODS:

In a face-to-face group discussion, scope, content, and structure of the HEALS deliverable "Guidelines for appropriate BoE selection for EWAS studies" were determined. An expert-driven, distributed, narrative review process involving around 30 individuals of the HEALS consortium made it possible to include extensive information targeted towards the specific characteristics of various environmental stressors and exposure determinants. From the resulting 265 page report, targeted information about BoE, corresponding reference values (e.g., 95th percentile or measures of central tendency), exposure limit values (e.g., the German HBM I and II values) and biomonitoring equivalents (BEs) were summarized and updated.

RESULTS:

64 individual biological, chemical, physical, psychological and social environmental stressors or exposure determinants were included to fulfil the requirements of EWAS. The list of available BoEs is extensive with a number of 135; however, 12 of the stressors and exposure determinants considered do not leave any measurable specific substance in accessible body specimens. Opportunities to estimate the internal exposure stressors not (yet) detectable in human specimens were discussed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Data about internal exposures are useful to decode the exposome. The paper provides extensive information for EWAS. Information included serves as a guideline - snapshot in time without any claim to comprehensiveness - to interpret HBM data and offers opportunities to collect information about the internal exposure of stressors if no specific BoE is available.

KEYWORDS:

Biomarkers of exposure; Biomonitoring equivalents; Environment-wide association studies; Exposure limit values; Human biomonitoring; Reference values

PMID:
29626821
DOI:
10.1016/j.envres.2018.02.041
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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