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Challenges to Evidence Synthesis and Identification of Data Gaps in Human Biomonitoring

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Environmental Health Behaviour Lab, Instituto de Saúde Ambiental, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, 1649-028 Lisboa, Portugal
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Unbreakable Idea Research, Lda, 2550-426 Painho, Portugal
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Department of Public Health, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy
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Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, 00032 Työterveyslaitos, Finland
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Department of Public Health and Welfare, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), 00300 Helsinki, Finland
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Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 115 27 Athens, Greece
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Department of Environment and Health, National Institute for Health, 00161 Rome, Italy
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Department of Zoology and Anthropology, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, 949 74 Nitra, Slovakia
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Department of Epidemiology, Local Health Authority Rome E, 00147 Rome, Italy
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Public Health School, National Institute of Public Health, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Public Health England, Harwell Campus, Chilton, Didcot OX 11 0RQ, UK
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CNSA, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28220 Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain
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German Environment Agency, 14195 Berlin, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062830
Received: 30 January 2021 / Revised: 5 March 2021 / Accepted: 7 March 2021 / Published: 10 March 2021
The increasing number of human biomonitoring (HBM) studies undertaken in recent decades has brought to light the need to harmonise procedures along all phases of the study, including sampling, data collection and analytical methods to allow data comparability. The first steps towards harmonisation are the identification and collation of HBM methodological information of existing studies and data gaps. Systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses have been traditionally put at the top of the hierarchy of evidence, being increasingly applied to map available evidence on health risks linked to exposure to chemicals. However, these methods mainly capture peer-reviewed articles, failing to comprehensively identify other important, unpublished sources of information that are pivotal to gather a complete map of the produced evidence in the area of HBM. Within the framework of the European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU) initiative—a project that joins 30 countries, 29 from Europe plus Israel, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission—a comprehensive work of data triangulation has been made to identify existing HBM studies and data gaps across countries within the consortium. The use of documentary analysis together with an up-to-date platform to fulfil this need and its implications for research and practice are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: HBM4EU; human biomonitoring; environmental health; data triangulation; harmonisation procedures HBM4EU; human biomonitoring; environmental health; data triangulation; harmonisation procedures
MDPI and ACS Style

Virgolino, A.; Santos, O.; Costa, J.; Fialho, M.; Iavicoli, I.; Santonen, T.; Tolonen, H.; Samoli, E.; Katsouyanni, K.; Baltatzis, G.; Ruggieri, F.; Abballe, A.; Petrovičová, I.; Kolena, B.; Šidlovská, M.; Ancona, C.; Eržen, I.; Sepai, O.; Castaño, A.; Kolossa-Gehring, M.; Fiddicke, U. Challenges to Evidence Synthesis and Identification of Data Gaps in Human Biomonitoring. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2830. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062830

AMA Style

Virgolino A, Santos O, Costa J, Fialho M, Iavicoli I, Santonen T, Tolonen H, Samoli E, Katsouyanni K, Baltatzis G, Ruggieri F, Abballe A, Petrovičová I, Kolena B, Šidlovská M, Ancona C, Eržen I, Sepai O, Castaño A, Kolossa-Gehring M, Fiddicke U. Challenges to Evidence Synthesis and Identification of Data Gaps in Human Biomonitoring. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(6):2830. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062830

Chicago/Turabian Style

Virgolino, Ana, Osvaldo Santos, Joana Costa, Mónica Fialho, Ivo Iavicoli, Tiina Santonen, Hanna Tolonen, Evangelia Samoli, Klea Katsouyanni, Georgios Baltatzis, Flavia Ruggieri, Annalisa Abballe, Ida Petrovičová, Branislav Kolena, Miroslava Šidlovská, Carla Ancona, Ivan Eržen, Ovnair Sepai, Argelia Castaño, Marike Kolossa-Gehring, and Ulrike Fiddicke. 2021. "Challenges to Evidence Synthesis and Identification of Data Gaps in Human Biomonitoring" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 6: 2830. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062830

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