Human biomonitoring in Israel: Recent results and lessons learned Academic Article uri icon


  • The use of human biomonitoring (HBM) as a tool for environmental health policy and research is developing rapidly in Israel. Despite challenges in securing political and financial support for HBM, the Ministry of Health has initiated national HBM studies and has utilized HBM data in environmental health policy decision making. Currently, the Ministry of Health is collecting urine samples from children and adults in the framework of the National Nutrition and Health Study (MABAT), with the goal of ongoing surveillance of population exposure to pesticides and environmental tobacco smoke, and of combining HBM data with data on diet and health behavior. In academic research studies in Israel, biomarkers are used increasingly in environmental epidemiology, including in three active birth cohort studies on adverse health effects of phthalates, brominated flame retardants, and organophosphate pesticides. Future Ministry of Health goals include establishing HBM analytical capabilities, developing a long term national HBM plan for Israel and participating in the proposed HBM4 EU project in order to improve data harmonization. One of the lessons learned in Israel is that even in the absence of a formal HBM program, it is possible to collect meaningful HBM data and use it in an ad hoc fashion to support environmental health policy.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017