Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

An attempt to interpret the results of biomonitoring in conjunction with data on environmental pollution, with an emphasis on air pollution and an assessment of the potential effects of these pollutants on the health of the population

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.08.00  Medical sciences  Public health (occupational safety)   

Code Science Field
B700  Biomedical sciences  Environmental health 

Code Science Field
3.03  Medical and Health Sciences  Health sciences 
environment, air pollution, human biomonitoring, exposure, health effects
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (20)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  22304  PhD Mojca Bavcon Kralj  Chemistry  Researcher  2018 - 2019  204 
2.  05373  PhD Ivan Eržen  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2018 - 2019  671 
3.  10582  PhD Ingrid Falnoga  Neurobiology  Researcher  2018 - 2019  344 
4.  52125  Tjaša Gornik  Chemistry  Technical associate  2019  25 
5.  05027  PhD Milena Horvat  Chemistry  Head  2018 - 2019  1,887 
6.  52126  PhD Marta Jagodic Hudobivnik  Chemistry  Researcher  2019  131 
7.  25622  PhD David Kocman  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2018 - 2019  357 
8.  02564  PhD Branko Kontić  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2018 - 2019  503 
9.  24265  PhD Davor Kontić  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2018 - 2019  116 
10.  51458  Nina Košir    Technical associate  2018 - 2019 
11.  30640  PhD Andreja Kukec  Medical sciences  Researcher  2018 - 2019  372 
12.  33512  Uroš Lešnik  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2018 - 2019  135 
13.  18287  PhD Darja Mazej  Chemistry  Researcher  2018 - 2019  379 
14.  30063  PhD Janja Snoj Tratnik  Control and care of the environment  Technical associate  2018 - 2019  295 
15.  37818  PhD Anja Stajnko  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Junior researcher  2018 - 2019  94 
16.  01411  PhD Zdenka Šlejkovec  Chemistry  Researcher  2018 - 2019  240 
17.  19946  PhD Agnes Šomen Joksič  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2018 - 2019  194 
18.  11539  PhD Polonca Trebše  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2018 - 2019  514 
19.  29652  Vesna Viher Hrženjak  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2018 - 2019  96 
20.  05991  PhD Lijana Zaletel-Kragelj  Public health (occupational safety)  Researcher  2018 - 2019  552 
Organisations (5)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  90,695 
2.  0381  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine  Ljubljana  1627066  48,236 
3.  0382  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Health Sciences  LJUBLJANA  1627155  14,406 
4.  3333  National Institut of Public Health  Ljubljana  6462642  18,469 
5.  3334  National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Foodstaffs  Maribor  6489087  4,599 
The purpose of the project is to link environmental pollution data in Slovenia, primarily air, and the available results of human biomonitoring (HBM), and to prepare an methodological approach for their interpretation in terms of potential impacts on human health. On this basis, the aim of the research is to contribute to the following priorities, as defined in the call of the target research program theme 4.1.3: - complement the research of the European Initiative for Human Biomonitoring - HBM4EU, - the formulation of policy proposals to assist decision-making in the field of health and the environment, in particular in the preparation of measures to reduce health risks from air pollution, - the implementation of Article 51.a of the Chemicals Act, - contribution to the implementation of the REACH, based on the research of exposure to substances in the environment, - implementation of legislation in the field of monitoring and evaluation of ambient air quality. Recent research in the field of environment and health focuses on integrated approaches that capture exposure throughout the life cycle, from a prenatal period forward. They are suitable because from the earliest periods of human life consider not only the characteristics of the external and internal environment, but also individual biological and other characteristics and practices, including lifestyle (nutrition, metabolic factors, hormones, intestinal microflora, inflammation, physical activity, exposure to stress, education, socio-economic status, smoking, alcohol consumption, etc.). This approach is complex, requires specific and reliable data and is now used only in the most developed countries (adopted by the National Research Committee of National Academies in the US, as summarized in the 2012 report "Science of Exposure in the 21st Century: A Vision and Strategy" called it "exposom"). In Slovenia, we approach this approach within the framework of the proposed project in such a way that we connect the available data on air pollution with HBM data and on this basis assess the past exposure of people in the affected areas. We will also evaluate possible health consequences based on such estimated exposure. In Slovenia, quite a few studies of HBM have been performed. In addition to the national HBM program, which was carried out in the period from 2007 to 2015, Slovenia was involved in epidemiological research (described in point 14), in which HBM implementation was an integral part. There is also a series of reports on the state of air pollution (environment). However, for the synthesis of exposure estimates and potential health effects, an appropriate methodological approach or method will need to be developed. Experts from different disciplines and representatives of different sectors in the Republic of Slovenia will need to be connected. The work will be organized in six work packages and will last for two years
Significance for science
From the point of view of science, approaches, methods, tasks and tools in evaluating exposure and consequent health effects are "technology". It is a set of operations that combines the achievements of many sciences (chemical, biological, physical, medical, mathematical, social sciences, philosophy, etc.) for the purposes of determining health claims and decision making. The latter is aimed at managing, reducing or removing risks, which can be demonstrated at the operational level as a guideline for determining norms, a basis for the deployment of space activities, the initiation of remedial actions, etc. In general, a distinction is made between assessment and decision making, on the grounds that the assessment must be as objective and based on scientific evidence, rather than political or social considerations and judgments. In contrast, when deciding where judgments and social views are an inevitable and also desirable component. In this context, it is necessary to clearly distinguish which types of errors (uncertainties) can be expected in scientific work, and which ones are in decision-making. The correction for professional mistakes and mistakes is a more thorough research, and for decision-making, transparency and democratic decision-making process. Due to expert misconceptions and errors in the past (there were free interpretations of various baseline items and facts, for example, biological and some others were not taken into account at all - this was often the frequency), exposure estimates and risks began to lose importance in the 1970s and the eighties of the last century. The company started to reject them, and the complaints were, in particular, that neither ex-post ex-post nor ex-ante estimates could be given to them, that such evaluations often proved to be inaccurate, too subjective, and that some experts were in the evaluation either too indifferent, or too catastrophic (things were too dramatized because they could not integrate probabilities into the assessment). Subsequently, the assessment of exposure and risks began to recover in the 1990s. Experts worked out methods, provided new and new scientific evidence on the harmfulness of substances, successfully separated assessment from decision-making, and evaluated exposure and related consequences developed almost to independent science. Similarly, in parallel, the development of an environmental impact assessment was carried out. Although it is still true for both that it is not about independent science, but about "technology", many see them as a direct generator of knowledge. This is not entirely true, if we understand that basic knowledge is created in basic sciences (chemistry, biology, physics) and technology only uses it. The proposed project will consolidate the concepts and integrate knowledge in the field of exposure assessment into a coherent and credible whole with the aim of further effective use in many areas and in many policies.
Significance for the country
The objectives of the proposed project are also appropriate changes or improvements to the legal order (eg the Dangerous Substances Regulation, REACH). In addition to the direct revision of the legal order in line with the project proposals, it is expected to establish a more transparent, more comprehensible, relatively simpler and more secure investment environment for private interests and an economic initiative. The economy will be relieved of the uncertainty of allowing space interventions, as the issue of the appropriateness of the deployment of activities using and emitting harmful substances will already be resolved at the strategic spatial planning level. By operational introduction of a transparent exposure assessment and related changes to some other sectoral regulations that have so far encroached on spatial planning (eg in agriculture, nature protection, energy and heating, transport), it will consolidate and consolidate the entire economic and investment spatial planning process. These will be important acquisitions for the further, long-term development of Slovenia. For other aspects of socio-economic development see point 21.3.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2018, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2018, final report
Views history