The Human Early-Life Exposome - novel tools for integrating early-life environmental exposures and child health across Europe
A Collaborative Project funded through the European Commission seventh Framework Programme
|Total budget||€ 11.292.727, buy 00|
|Maximum EU contribution||€ 8.623.939, rx 00|
|Project Officer||Dr Tuomo Karjalainen|
What we set out to do
Major environmental hazards such as ambient air pollution, recipe environmental tobacco smoke, water and food contaminants, noise, pesticides and ultraviolet (UV) light may lead to serious, chronic pathologies with large societal and economic costs, especially when exposure occurs during critical periods of development in pregnancy or early life.
The “exposome” concept was coined to encompass the totality of human environmental exposures from conception onwards, complementing the genome. The key focus of the exposome is on its epidemiological applications for prevention of human disease.
The HELIX project is funded to exploit novel tools and methods for characterisation of early-life exposure to a wide range of environmental hazards. These require integration and linkage with data on major child health outcomes, to develop an “Early-Life Exposome” approach.
Six prospective birth cohort studies are contributing to HELIX as the only realistic and feasible way to obtain the comprehensive, longitudinal, human data needed to build this early-life exposome. These cohorts have already collected large amounts of data as part of national and EU-funded projects. Results will be integrated with data from European cohorts (>300,000 subjects) and registers, to estimate health impacts at the large European scale.
This integration of the chemical, physical and molecular environment during critical early-life periods will lead to major improvements in health risk and impact assessments and thus to improved prevention strategies for vulnerable populations.
HELIX is one of the two first FP7 funded projects in the FP7 Exposome Programme. The in parallel running EXPOsOMICS project concentrates on the effects of air pollution in adults.
Conceptual Framework of the HELIX project strucuture
- WP1 Novel tool for individual exposures
- WP2 Novel tools for outdoor exposures
- WP3 Integrating multiple exposures
- WP4 Integrating molecular exposure signatures
- WP5 Linking the Exposome to child health
- WP6 Environmental burden of childhood disease
- WP7 Dissemination, policy involvement, training
- WP8 Management and Ethics