Public Health Genomics Knowledge Base (v1.2)
Exposome and Exposomics
Last Posted: Jan 12, 2017
What is the exposome?
Why should we study the exposome?
What are the challenges of advancing exposomics?
What are the research needs?
- Investment in and exploration of new technologies and tools to measure internal and external exposures.While some might consider investing in new technologies as high risk, the promise of a significant reward makes it essential that some investment in new technologies should occur. The National Institute for Environmental Sciences (NIEHS) funded an exposure biology program. This was the first program that NIEHS funded that was devoted to developing new tools for exposure assessment. These tools ranged from exposure strategies to the development of direct reading devices for exposure or response markers. In addition, the "omics" technologies offer great promise to help elucidate the exposome both in identifying exposures and response to exposures. These technologies offer the promise of speed, cost, and large data gathering capacities. All of these characteristics are necessary to be able to establish critical links between exposure, response and disease. Other high throughput technologies, such as fluorescence covalent microbead immunosorbent assay, may also offer these same characteristics.
- Molecular epidemiology studies are needed to determine associations between exposures and disease.Molecular Epidemiology studies to identify relationships between occupational exposures and health outcomes are critical and can provide needed information about disease pathways and processes. Along with laboratory validation, field validation for biomarkers needs to be accomplished. Field studies with the purpose of biomarker validation are needed. Improved study designs or survey instruments are important to understand confounders and multiple exposures and determine how they change susceptibility. Standardization of data collection and storage may be useful for the utilization of that the information in other studies.
- Development and validation of biomonitoring techniques for both legacy and response monitoring.Development of new technologies is critical for the exposome initiative to succeed. For the Human Genome Project and subsequent genomics studies, new, faster technologies allowed for increased data collection and gathering providing the knowledge base central in determining associations between genes and diseases. These biomonitoring techniques can be broadly classified into the two areas of legacy biomarkers and response biomarkers.Legacy biomarkers indicate past exposures that may be important to determine the effect that lifetime exposures have on present health status. These biomarkers may pinpoint to a specific chemical or insult or may pinpoint to specific damage that occurred do to a class of chemicals, such as DNA alkylators. Antibody formation, metabolites, adducts, genetic mutations, epigenetic changes, toxicogenomic effects, etc. may all provide information about past exposures. NIOSH has expertise and current research efforts in these areas and can provide valuable information in determining cause and effect relationships between an exposure and a response.Other areas in which NIOSH could contribute include making occupational exposure information publicly accessible. The development of occupational health and toxicity models would also be beneficial.
How is NIOSH contributing?
NIOSHTIC-2 search results on Exposure Assessment for Chemicals
NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH.
Information on biomonitoring from the Environmental Health Research Foundation
Environmental public health tracking (EPHT) is the ongoing collection, integration, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of data on environmental hazards, exposures to those hazards, and health effects that may be related to the exposures.
CDC’s Environmental Health Laboratory operates the National Biomonitoring Program (NBP). NBP currently measures more than 450 environmental chemicals and nutritional indicators in people.
EHIB uses biomonitoring in studies linking environmental exposures and pollution-related diseases, for environmental health tracking and to explore body burdens in populations that may be at increased risk from exposure.
The human exposome project would attempt to characterize the internal exposomes of individuals of multiple ethnicities who live in different environments and have widely differing risk factors for disease. In this way we would hope to understand the diversity and patterns of human exposures in a manner similar to the HapMap project, which aims to describe the common patterns of human DNA sequence variation.
GEL is a unit within the Division of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at University of California Berkeley (UCB), whose mission is to identify the adverse effects of chemicals on human health, to determine how genetic variation influences disease susceptibility and the effects of environmental exposures, and to study the mechanisms involved.
Listing of MAK and BAT values that make suggestions for the maximum allowable concentration of a working substance in the workplace atmosphere as a gas, steam or aerosol that, according to current knowledge, does not impair the health of employees exposed during eight-hour working days over the long term. Furthermore, the working substances are classified according to their carcinogenic, germ cell mutagenic, reproduction-endangering, sensitizing, and skin-absorptive effect.
Includes Gene Expression Profiles of Di-n-butyl Phthalate in Normal Human Mammary Epithelial Cells.
The goal of this exposure biology program is to develop new technology and assays to generate precise measurements of human exposure to chemical and biological agents that may lead to disease or dysfunction.
On February 8, 2006 Health and Human Services announced funding of this initiative to conduct genetic analysis and to develop new tools to measure environmental exposures that affect health.
The purpose of this document is to consolidate the diverse literature and opinions on genetics in the workplace, to flag important issues, and to provide some considerations for current and future research and practice.
This database lists the specific medical tests published in the literature for OSHA regulated substances.
The purpose of the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program is to determine levels of environmental chemicals in a representative sample of Californians, establish trends in the levels of these chemicals over time and assess the effectiveness of public health efforts and regulatory programs to decrease exposures to specific chemicals.
An exposome resource developed by researchers at Georgia Tech and Emory University.
Exposure Assessment is the multi-disciplinary field that identifies and characterizes workplace and environmental exposures, develops estimates of exposure for exposure-response and risk assessment studies, and evaluates the significance of exposure and effectiveness of intervention strategies. Exposure assessment is a critical component for advancing the exposome.
NIOSH Publication No. 2003-154 (2003)
NMAM is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed. These methods are also applicable to evaluation of environmental exposures. These methods have been developed or adapted by NIOSH or its partners and have been evaluated according to established experimental protocols and performance criteria. NMAM also includes chapters on quality assurance, sampling, portable instrumentation, etc. Expanding, validating, and sharing such methods for use in all aspects of exposomics will be a critical enabling activity.
NIOSH Publication No. 77-173 (January 1997)
NIOSH is soliciting input from its Stakeholders on their needs for information and guidance to be included in a revision of the "Occupational Exposure Sampling Strategies". The OESSM has been a seminal document on exposure assessment and served as the basis for NIOSH recommendations and guidance to OSHA and the professional community for many years. However, the underlying science supporting occupational exposure assessment as well as the needs for, and uses of, occupational exposure assessment have advanced and evolved since the Manual was published. In response to these advancements, NIOSH has decided to move forward with developing updated guidance and recommendations that reflect these changes and help move occupational exposure assessment into the future.