Time Patterns in Internal Human Exposure Data to Bisphenols, Phthalates, DINCH, Organophosphate Flame Retardants, Cadmium and Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons in Europe

Laura Rodriguez Martin*, Liese Gilles, Emilie Helte, Agneta Åkesson, Jonas Tägt, Adrian Covaci, Amrit K. Sakhi, An Van Nieuwenhuyse, Andromachi Katsonouri, Anna Maria Andersson, Arno C. Gutleb, Beata Janasik, Brice Appenzeller, Catherine Gabriel, Cathrine Thomsen, Darja Mazej, Denis Sarigiannis, Elena Anastasi, Fabio Barbone, Hanna TolonenHanne Frederiksen, Jana Klanova, Jani Koponen, Janja Snoj Tratnik, Kim Pack, Koppen Gudrun, Kristin Ólafsdóttir, Lisbeth E. Knudsen, Loïc Rambaud, Loreta Strumylaite, Lubica Palkovicova Murinova, Lucia Fabelova, Margaux Riou, Marika Berglund, Maté Szabados, Medea Imboden, Michelle Laeremans, Milada Eštóková, Natasa Janev Holcer, Nicole Probst-Hensch, Nicole Vodrazkova, Nina Vogel, Pavel Piler, Phillipp Schmidt, Rosa Lange, Sónia Namorado, Szilvia Kozepesy, Tamás Szigeti, Thorhallur I. Halldorsson, Till Weber, Tina Kold Jensen, Valentina Rosolen, Vladimira Puklova, Wojciech Wasowicz, Ovnair Sepai, Lorraine Stewart, Marike Kolossa-Gehring, Marta Esteban-López, Argelia Castaño, Jos Bessems, Greet Schoeters, Eva Govarts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Human biomonitoring (HBM) data in Europe are often fragmented and collected in different EU countries and sampling periods. Exposure levels for children and adult women in Europe were evaluated over time. For the period 2000–2010, literature and aggregated data were collected in a harmonized way across studies. Between 2011–2012, biobanked samples from the DEMOCOPHES project were used. For 2014–2021, HBM data were generated within the HBM4EU Aligned Studies. Time patterns on internal exposure were evaluated visually and statistically using the 50th and 90th percentiles (P50/P90) for phthalates/DINCH and organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) in children (5–12 years), and cadmium, bisphenols and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in women (24–52 years). Restricted phthalate metabolites show decreasing patterns for children. Phthalate substitute, DINCH, shows a non-significant increasing pattern. For OPFRs, no trends were statistically significant. For women, BPA shows a clear decreasing pattern, while substitutes BPF and BPS show an increasing pattern coinciding with the BPA restrictions introduced. No clear patterns are observed for PAHs or cadmium. Although the causal relations were not studied as such, exposure levels to chemicals restricted at EU level visually decreased, while the levels for some of their substitutes increased. The results support policy efficacy monitoring and the policy-supportive role played by HBM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number819
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2023


  • bisphenols
  • cadmium
  • hazardous chemical
  • human biomonitoring
  • OPFRs
  • PAHs
  • phthalates


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