European legislations create unique demands for the European exposure science community. Human
and environmental exposure assessments for chemicals are required as part of the risk assessments
undertaken in the context of various legislations (e.g. under REACH, the Biocides Regulation, the
General Food Law but also the Regulation on Medical Devices and Construction Products). In
addition, regulations on general product safety, classification, labelling and packaging, control of air
quality and major-accident hazards require input on exposure. Moreover, security-driven exposure
assessments are being increasingly requested related to the misuse of chemical biological
radiological and nuclear (CBRN) materials. Knowledge gaps, method and tool limitations, new needs
together with longer-term EU strategies and several new trends all add additional challenges to the
field of exposure science calling for the development of a European Strategy for Exposure Science.
New trends that can be used as a starting point are for example:
Exposure science offers much more enhanced knowledge and methods than is currently
implemented in regulatory risk assessments.
Further public rejection of using animals for safety testing of chemicals increases the
dependency on exposure assessment.
Growing appreciation of the importance of interactions between man and the environment
in a globalised economy (e.g. green and/or circular economy, management of global supply
chains and the contained chemicals, sustainability, biodiversity).
Exposure to various chemicals at the same time and aggregate exposure to one chemical
from different sources are increasingly recognised as requiring assessment, but neither the
exposure data nor the assessment methods are available at present.
As a first step of strategy building, the first workshop of the European Chapter of the International
Society of Exposure Science (ISES Europe) took place on June 19-20, 2018 in Dortmund, Germany,
hosted by the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA). The main
objectives of this workshop were: (1) to design the backbone of The European Exposure Science
Strategy with a roadmap 2020-2030; (2) to create working groups with their own goals and agenda
in alignment with the overall strategy; (3) to identify actions for further research and policy needs in
Europe; and (4) to attract ISES Europe members committed to contributing to build the strategy and
to increase the visibility of exposure science in Europe.
The workshop was structured around six thematic areas that were identified on the basis of a
stakeholder survey on needs for exposure science in Europe. These thematic areas were:
1. Data repositories and analytics,
2. Regulatory exposure assessment
3. Exposure data production and monitoring
4. Building partnerships and collaboration
5. Exposure assessment methods and tools
6. Exposure science education and communication
On the first day, the focus was on assessing the needs, gaps and opportunities for exposure science
in Europe, and on the second day, the focus was on identifying building blocks for fulfilling the
identified needs. Both days started with keynote lectures and continued with thematic parallel
working group sessions along the defined thematic areas.
Assessment of Needs for a European Strategy on Exposure Science
ISES Europe 2018 Workshop Report
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About 120 experts working at nine stakeholder groups participated in the workshop comprising
European Commission Services, European Agencies, European Member States’ national authorities,
industry, academia, consultants and insurance companies.
During the breakout sessions, interactive discussions took place where exposure science practitioners
discussed strategic activities and domains relevant for defining a strategy for exposure science to
better serving human health and wellbeing, environmental safety needs, inform exposure policy
domains, and help product developers and sustainability managers to achieve their goals towards a
sustainable development in Europe. The workshop defined building blocks and actions, comprising
e.g. the creation of working groups, and initiation of projects responding to the identified needs,
concerning exposure science and relevant policies, and the level of coordination needed between
the various stakeholders involved in the exposure science-policy interface.
It was concluded that the following building blocks and actions are needed as a foundation of a
European Exposure Science Strategy being:
1. To establish a common portal on exposure science,
2. To build a European exposure science network and partnerships,
3. To develop a common framework across policies and regulations making use of exposure
science by focussing on the alignment of principles and efficiency enhancement,
4. To establish an integrated exposure assessment framework of methods and tools, and
5. To develop an education and training scheme.
The present report summarises the workshop’s outcome and represents a first step towards the
development of a European Exposure Science Strategy with a roadmap 2020-2030