INSPIRE Knowledge Base


Consortium to Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale
Mission and Objectives: 
The main goal of COPHES is to develop a coherent approach to human biomonitoring (HBM) in Europe as requested by ACTION 3 of the "European Environment and Health Action Plan 2004-2010" through coordination of ongoing and planned HBM activities across Europe. The project will exploit existing and planned HBM projects and programmes of work and capabilities in Europe. COPHES will investigate what is needed to advance and improve comparability of HBM data across Europe. Work prepared under DG Research and DG Environment activities dealing with the development, validation, and use of novel biomarkers including non)invasive markers and effect markers will be exploited. Through close collaboration with similar initiatives in the field of Health - such as the EU Health Examination Survey- appropriate economies and efficiencies will be assessed. Key issues such as Ethics and Human Biobanks will be addressed. The project will deliver a number of key outputs including: 1. Tested Proofs of Concept and/or Demonstration Projects assessing the feasibility of a coordinated European approach to collect HBM data, including strategies for data interpretation and integration with environmental and health data; 2. A rationale and strategy for communication and dissemination of information, results and key messages to ass stakeholders from the public to policy makers; 3. Training and capacity building will aim to promote knowledge and experience exchange and development in the field of HBM within Europe. A common understanding within all parties involved on the potential of HBM in supporting and evaluating current and future policy making (including e.g. REACH and INSPIRE) and for environmental health awareness raising will be promoted. The COPHES consortium's aim is to significantly advance the process towards a fully operational, continuus, sustainable and scientifically sound European Human Biomonitoring programme.
Formal Mandate: 
Although COPHES in itself has no formal mandate, it gathers 35 partners, including scientists, governmental institutes and authorities, NGOs and industry.
The main objective of COPHES is to develop a functional framework that contributes to the definition, organisation and management of a coherent approach towards HBM in Europe. The framework will aggregate experiences from existing and planned HBM activities in European countries and will investigate what is needed to improve and support better comparability of HBM data across them. This harmonization, will improve quantification of exposure of the general European population to existing and emerging pollutants and determination of reference values for exposure. Additionally, better data comparability will support policy making in the field by e.g. evaluation of policy actions aimed at reducing exposure to potentially hazardous environmental stressors at a European level and more comprehensive health impact assessments of policy options. The consortium will: o Define priorities for biomonitoring chemical exposure and effect in the general European population in close collaboration with MS representatives o Improve comparability of HBM data in Europe by developing strategies to harmonise recruitment, sampling, quality control, data exchange, data analysis, reporting strategies o Guarantee high scientific standards and use of up to date scientific technology and approaches in human biomarker development and integration of HBM in health impact assessment o Provide a communication strategy and common ethical standards o Develop a programme for capacity building o Develop a concept for sustainable organisation and structure of a EU HBM network The work within COPHES concentrates on 1. concepts and strategies to harmonise recruitment and sampling procedures; 2. sample processing including biobanking; 3. data analysis and interpretation; 4. communication and dissemination; 5. training and capacity building. Links with ongoing research projects dealing with development, validation and use of novel biomarkers including non-invasive markers and effect markers will be established . Progress in the genotoxicology and -omics field will be incorporated. Overall streamlining with similar initiatives in the field of health will be sought, and a longer-term vision and sustainability are sought.
BiPRO GmbH (Germany) Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) Umweltbundesamt (Germany) Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Spain) Flemish Institute for Technological Research (Belgium) Health Protection Agency (United Kingdom)Institut de veille sanitaire (France) University of Copenhagen (Denmark) Joint Research Center (Belgium) Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia) Environmental Health Sciences International (The Netherlands) Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment (Belgium) Umweltbundesamt GmbH (Austria) Environmental Health Center (Romania) Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania) Institute for Medical research and Occupational Health (Croatia) National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (The Netherlands) National Hellenic Research Foundation (Greece) Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cyprus (Cyprus) Institute of Preventive Medicine, Lisbon Faculty of Medicine (Portugal) Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) CEFIC (Belgium) National Institute of Public Health (Norway) National Institute for Health Development (Estonia) Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italy) National Institute of Environmental Health (Hungary) Swiss Office of Public Health (Switserland) Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic (Slovakia) Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (Poland) National Institute of Public Health (Czech Republic) Health Service Executive (Ireland) HEAL (Belgium) National Institute for Health and Welfare (Finland) Centre de Recherche Public - Gabriel Lippmann (Luxemburg) Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (Germany)

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • collect and describe user requirements related to Environmental policies
  • yes
  • register a project to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
  • be kept informed
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    Societal Sector
    Specific Expertise
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    The COPHES consortium combines the efforts and experiences of scientists and authorities from 27 European countries. All participants have vast experience in the fields of Environment and health research, human biomonitoring, environmental health impact assessment, risk assessment, toxicology, and the use of environment and health data for policy making
    Environmental application domains
    Extensive experience in human biomonitoring, linking HBM data with environment and health data, use of HBM data for environmental health impact assessment