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Human biomonitoring (HBM) studies have been conducted in populations in France since the 1980s in order to understand better the exposure to environmental chemicals and to help regulators to reduce exposure and to monitor existing policies. Until recently, French HBM studies focused on specific populations or pollutants, but an integrated, multipollutant approach has begun with a recent national population-based biomonitoring survey and will be extended through the current national HBM strategy.

This chapter describes different relevant and successful approaches of French HBM activities in responding to specific and more general public health concerns. There are: 1) studies focused on a specific pollutant or population, illustrated by a multicentre study on dioxins and incinerators, on PCBs in river fishermen and a national lead survey in children, and 2) integrated national multipollutant HBM surveys, illustrated by the ENNS study and the current national HBM strategy including the national survey of people aged between 6 and 74 years completed for the neonatal period and childhood by the ELFE project. France also contributes to the harmonization of HBM in Europe through participation in European HBM projects.

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