Understanding biomonitoring and the exposome



Why does biomonitoring provide knowledge of the exposome?


The exposome is the knowledge of the markers of exposure to xenobiotic substances in an organism from conception to death.


"A xenobiotic (from the Greek "foreign" and "life") is a substance present in a living organism but foreign to it: it is neither produced by the organism itself, nor by its food. "In general, a xenobiotic is a chemical molecule that is a pollutant and sometimes toxic within an organism, even in low or very low concentrations. A typical example of xenobiotics is pesticides."

Biomonitoring is the measurement of biological markers.

It can be a search for markers of human exposure to chemical or biological substances or markers of the body's functioning.

Biomonitoring makes it possible to establish the exposome.


What biological matrices are used for human biomonitoring?

Biomonitoring involves looking for these markers in different biological matrices such as blood, urine, hair, saliva, nails, faeces and tissue (biopsy).

Each of these biological matrices has specific characteristics in terms of detection window and the nature of the biomarkers that are relevant to look for.