More than 20 years ago, acrylamide was added to the list of potential carcinogens found in many common dietary products and tobacco smoke. Consequently, human biomonitoring studies investigating exposure to acrylamide in the form of adducts in blood and metabolites in urine have been performed to obtain data on the actual burden in different populations of the world and in Europe. Recognizing the related health risk, the European Commission responded with measures to curb the acrylamide content in food products. In 2017, a trans-European human biomonitoring project (HBM4EU) was started with the aim to investigate exposure to several chemicals, including acrylamide. Here we set out to provide a combined analysis of previous and current European acrylamide biomonitoring study results by harmonizing and integrating different data sources, including HBM4EU aligned studies, with the aim to resolve overall and current time trends of acrylamide exposure in Europe. Data from 10 European countries were included in the analysis, comprising more than 5500 individual samples (3214 children and teenagers, 2293 adults). We utilized linear models as well as a non-linear fit and breakpoint analysis to investigate trends in temporal acrylamide exposure as well as descriptive statistics and statistical tests to validate findings. Our results indicate an overall increase in acrylamide exposure between the years 2001 and 2017. Studies with samples collected after 2018 focusing on adults do not indicate increasing exposure but show declining values. Regional differences appear to affect absolute values, but not the overall time-trend of exposure. As benchmark levels for acrylamide content in food have been adopted in Europe in 2018, our results may imply the effects of these measures, but only indicated for adults, as corresponding data are still missing for children.
- exposure level
- human biomonitoring