European scientists to test human products on a daily basis


The program involves around 100 countries and 74 million euros. The goal is to make risk assessments in humans, to substances that can be toxic and that are in products such as baby bottles.

The European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU) was launched by the European Commission to analyze chemicals that can intoxicate humans. This program will start next year 2017 and will last until 2021, also has a funding of 74 million euros and with the participation of 100 researchers from 26 European countries, according to the source El País.

Algeria Castaño, director of the National Center for Environmental Health, will lead the Spanish delegation in the project, explained to the same publication that it is necessary to carry out a risk assessment of new consumer products before being approved. In addition to this analysis of isolated substances, the program also aims to analyze how the interaction of different substances can have an impact on the human being.

“When the drugs are placed on the market, the risk assessments are made in laboratories that are not as comprehensive as they should be”, explained Algeria Castaño, adding that pharmaceutical products are carried out on laboratory animals. Estimates of concentrations of chemicals to which the population is exposed are imprecise. “Human biomonitoring is meant to introduce more precision when it comes to establishing a real exposure to pollutants”, he said.

In the center of the program are nine substances that are present in objects that we consume almost every day. The analysis of its presence in the human body, will be based on analyzes of blood, urine, placenta, umbilical cord blood and some fats. One of the substances targeted is bisphenol, which is present in plastic packaging, be it water bottles or baby bottles. Although the European Union has concluded in 2015 that they are not dangerous to health, there are countries that have chosen to ban this substance.

Some of the substances present in some electronic products will also be analyzed. “The effects of chemicals on health are evident, and it is clear that more rigorous control is needed”, said Algeria Castaño, adding that long-term effects need to be studied.