A harmonized approach for human biomonitoring on the European level: COPHES and DEMOCOPHES twin projects

In the EU significant efforts are made to collect biomarker data in environmental health. However, the activities are often fragmented and results cannot be sufficiently compared. The main goal of the COPHES project is to develop a harmonized approach for human biomonitoring (HBM) on the European level as requested by Action 3 of the EU Environment and Health Action Plan. Within this scope a pilot study (DEMOCOPHES) was performed to demonstrate the feasibility and usefulness of an EU harmonised approach to HBM. 16 EU Member states and one other European country, being also part of COPHES used the harmonised guideline protocol prepared by COPHES to perform the pilot study. Important elements of the projects were means of quality assurance and control systems for chemical analysis and data management, training on fieldwork, data management and communication, as well as discussion documents for communication to policy makers.

COPHES: COnsortium to Perform Human biomonitoring on a European Scale

DEMOCOPHES: DEMOnstration of a study to COordinate and Perform Human biomonitoring on a European Scale


Contact persons

Marika Berglund



EU Life+

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency



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Urinary BPA measurements in children and mothers from six European member states: Overall results and determinants of exposure.
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Environ. Res. 2015 Aug;141():77-85

Lessons learnt on recruitment and fieldwork from a pilot European human biomonitoring survey.
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Environ. Res. 2015 Aug;141():15-23

Gender differences in cadmium and cotinine levels in prepubertal children.
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Environ. Res. 2015 Aug;141():125-31

Policy recommendations and cost implications for a more sustainable framework for European human biomonitoring surveys.
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Environ. Res. 2015 Aug;141():42-57

Interpreting biomarker data from the COPHES/DEMOCOPHES twin projects: Using external exposure data to understand biomarker differences among countries.
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Environ. Res. 2015 Aug;141():86-95

A pilot study on the feasibility of European harmonized human biomonitoring: Strategies towards a common approach, challenges and opportunities.
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Environ. Res. 2015 Aug;141():3-14

Communication in a Human biomonitoring study: Focus group work, public engagement and lessons learnt in 17 European countries.
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Environ. Res. 2015 Aug;141():31-41

Fish consumption patterns and hair mercury levels in children and their mothers in 17 EU countries.
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