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Health risk assessment for the general population and industrial workers is most commonly based on analysis related to the determination of harmful chemicals in environmental objects (air, water, soil, food). An increasing number of experts have recently been inclined to believe an approach to give no an idea of the total amount of chemical pollutants actually entering the human body, and another approach based on the biomonitoring procedure has been suggested. The aim of the work was to systematize current concepts about the classification of biomarkers, their toxicological and hygienic characteristics and the prospects for the practical use of laboratory research results in prevention of chemical etiology of diseases. Analytical review of national and foreign literature information concerning current terminology and classification of biological markers used in biomonitoring process to assess human body exposure degree to harmful environmental chemicals is submitted. The development and improvement of biomonitoring strategies, the range of studied specific biomarkers were revealed to be being widened, enhance the objectivity of risk assessment of the development of chemical etiology diseases caused by environmental pollution. At the present stage, the classification of biomarkers is represented by four types: exposure, effect, sensitivity, and “omics” for scientific research. According to chemical structure exposure biomarkers are divided into two groups: organic compounds and metals. It is suggested to use in Russia foreign experience in developing a biomonitoring system by the example of European Union countries and the United States, where there are national biomonitoring programs in which each country determines its priorities for choosing biomarkers based on assessment of public health risks, exposure levels in a particular region, toxicological characteristics, interpretability of findings, analytical feasibility, possibility of reducing exposure. Each biomarker is ranked according to its total weight score. Biological exposure limits developed by the Human Biomonitoring Commission of German Environment Agency are most often used in literature for assessment of biomonitoring findings. Taking into account foreign experience, introduction of biomonitoring strategies in Russia appears to be most reasonable as based on current social and hygienic monitoring system in Rospotrebnadzor (Federal Service for Surveillance over Consumers’ Rights Protection) institutions in cooperation with health care institutions of RF Health Ministry).

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