Human biomonitoring and the inspire directive: spatial data as link for environment and health research
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Journal of toxicology and environmental health: part B. - Washington, D.C.
, p. 646-659
University of Antwerp
Recently, there has been a rapid gain of interest in the availability, applicability, and integration of different types of spatial data for environment and health issues. The INSPIRE Directive (Directive 2007/2/EC) aims at providing better and easily accessible spatial information in Europe for the formulation and implementation of community policy on the environment by triggering the creation of a European spatial information infrastructure that delivers integrated spatial information services to potential users. Human biomonitoring (HBM) significantly contributes to the already existing data on environment and health because of its specific nature of providing information on the internal dose of chemicals rather than their mere presence in different environmental compartments. However, due to the intrinsic nature of HBM data, a number of issues need to be dealt with if HBM data are to be used to its full capacity in a geographic information systems (GIS) environment and within the INSPIRE directive. The current article highlights some of these issues, and discusses a number of options to improve the geographical relevance of HBM data for their optimal use within the INSPIRE Directive framework. The main aim of this publication is to illustrate that HBM has a significant contribution to make to the INSPIRE Directive, although some kind of data aggregation will be necessary to protect individual privacy. If HBM data wants to have a significant contribution to spatial information used to assist policymaking and on the surveillance or tracking of the direct or indirect impact of such policies, the HBM data need to be compatible with other data collected within the other themes of the INSPIRE Directive