According to Dr Ludwine Casteleyn, the applications of biomonitoring are growing as the technique to discover what chemicals are inside our bodies is used more and more. Specifically, she says in her article entitled A co-ordinated approach , the potential uses of biomonitoring will make it easier and better to look at changes in the environment. Already it has been used in addition to more traditional methods for testing environmental hypotheses, surveillance studies and raising awareness about chemical exposure. Results from these, and other studies, can add a personal element to this important research allowing both policy makers to better understand the implications of pollution and consumers to become more aware of how their decisions impact their health.
Casteleyn says that biomonitoring is not yet at its full potential. Currently the EU is looking at implementing biomonitoring into Environment and Health Action Plan as a co-ordinated approach to better using data for a harmonized European approach to biomonitoring. Many countries do not benefit from studies using biomonitoring, and therefore lack information about environmental trends specific to their area. When governments use this tool it shows a care for their citizenry’s health. However, it is also important for biomonitoring to be used properly with good communication between researchers and participants.
Read the full story in the Public Service Review Science & Technology - Issue 2. (Information portal for the UK public sector).
|More information on how biomonitoring can be found by reading Tracking Traces by Genon K Jensen, the director of the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL). This article explains the importance of the tool in following pollution trends and how an EU wide policy will improve current techniques.|
Written on 16 April 2009.