A sound management of chemicals is essential to implement many, if not all, UN Sustainable Development Goals. The UN (Global Environmental Outlook) and the EU Green Deal, call for measures to secure a non-toxic environment. The total number of industrial chemicals in commerce globally was conservatively estimated at 40.000 to 60.000. More than 60% of the volume of chemicals in the EU are classified as hazardous to human health, while around 35% are hazardous to the environment. Our knowledge about exposure to and toxicology of chemicals is relatively limited. Moreover, the methods to obtain data and data storage are not well harmonised which complicates data exchange.
PARC will not start from scratch. PARC will build on lessons and knowledge learned and go beyond previous initiatives, notably the European “Human biomonitoring for Europe” (HBM4EU), funded by Horizon 2020, which investigated the internal exposure of people to prioritised chemicals, identified the impact of exposure on health and facilitated the transfer of scientific results into policy. Before that, HBM4EU was fed by projects such as the Support BIOmonitoring in Europe (ESBIO), the Consortium to Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale (COPHES) and the Feasibility study DEMOCOPHES.
As research partnership PARC also builds on the structures and findings of other previous projects, including the flagship action Mechanism-based Toxicity Testing and Risk Assessment (EU-ToxRisk), the cluster for Animal-free Safety Assessment of Chemicals (ASPIS) and the European Cluster to Improve Identification of Endocrine Disruptors (EURION).
In our daily lives, we are constantly exposed to chemical substances. Thanks to human biomonitoring (HBM), we can assess whether and to what extent these substances enter our bodies. By measuring the concentration of chemicals in body fluids or tissues, biomonitoring can provide valuable information on environmental health effects and, in some cases, help address potential health risks.