The earliest parts of the life course are particularly vulnerable to environmental hazards and thus form an important starting point for the development of advanced exposome tools and data.
ATHLETE will establish a prospective exposome cohort, including a FAIR data infrastructure, by building on Europe’s most comprehensive exposome cohorts covering the first 18 years of life. Innovative exposure science and statistical tools will be used to systematically quantify the effects of the early life exposome (urban, chemical, physical, behavioural, and social risk factors) on early organ development, mental/respiratory/cardiometabolic health trajectories, and associated biological pathways, from early pregnancy through adolescence. Knowledge translation will rely on the development of interventions to reduce personal exposures, estimation of the societal impact of the exposome in childhood, recommendations to underpin policy, and an open-access exposome toolbox.
A substance that is measured in a biological system as an indicator of exposure, effect, susceptibility, or clinical disease (from “A Comprehensive Guide to Toxicology in Nonclinical Drug Development (Second Edition), 2017”)
The European Human Exposome Network is comprised of 126 research groups from 24 countries grouped within 9 large-scale projects funded by the European Union under one common goal: to understand the health impacts of environmental exposures in a lifetime.
The exposome refers to the totality of environmental exposures in a lifetime from conception onwards. It shifts from the ‘one exposure, one disease’ framework to a holistic approach that explores multiple environmental factors affecting health. The exposome is comprised of three overlapping domains: the personal, external and internal exposome. The personal contains a person’s exposure to chemical pollutants, behavioural and lifestyle factors. The external includes urban, built and transport settings, natural and green spaces, social aspects and climate. The internal exposome implies the biological responses to the personal and external exposome, including metabolism, aging, gut flora and stress.
The external exposome contains factors such as the urban, built, and transport environment, natural and green spaces, the food acquisition and consumption process, social environment, consumer products, and climate.
This domain of the exposome contains a person’s exposure to chemical pollutants (air pollutants, endocrine disruptors, heavy metals, pesticides), physical environmental factors (noise, temperature, light, UV), behavioural and lifestyle factors (diet, physical activity, sleep, screen time), social and psychosocial factors (stress, social contacts and participation, affluence), and their combinations and interactions.
Toxic chemicals are substances that when absorbed through or put in contact with the skin, or when ingested or inhaled, can lead to a negative effect on health. Some chemicals can also leave a lasting negative impact on the environment.