Zero pollution

Journey towards the 2030 targets to reduce pollution: The use of human biomonitoring data in the zero pollution monitoring assessment

The EU’s ambitious zero pollution action plan aims to improve the well-being and health of citizens and future generations under the European Green Deal. The zero pollution vision for 2050 includes a significant reduction in air, water and soil pollution to the extent that it no longer harms human health and natural ecosystems. This was translated into key 2030 targets to speed up reducing pollution at source.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published the zero pollution monitoring assessment in December 2022.  With this report, EEA aims to assess progress towards these targets and to support the European Commission in the delivery of the long-term vision of a non-toxic environment.

The report highlights that good progress has been made in the fields of air pollution, bathing and drinking water quality and antimicrobial resistance; however, the progress is slower in other areas (e.g. noise, waste). Several emerging issues were identified including the increasing body of evidence demonstrating that citizens’ health is being adversely affected by hazardous chemicals. Moreover, clear inequalities exist in terms of exposure to pollution. The findings reveal that further efforts will be needed to eliminate all negative impacts.

A range of HBM4EU knowledge has contributed significantly to the comprehensiveness of the assessment.

Recently, the EU Horizon European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU) yielded data on human exposure to chemicals from harmonised human biomonitoring studies across Europe. The data provide a picture of how chemicals burden the body and impact health. Some of the emerging data from this project are presented here to illustrate the value of human biomonitoring in assessing risks from chemicals to humans. The recently initiated Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC) will further build on HBM4EU experiences and results.” (Zero monitoring assessment)

You can read how the HBM4EU evidence was used in the following sections of the assessment: 

PARC will generate, among others, new knowledge and data to directly support the policy agenda under the European Green Deal.