Exposures at work have a major impact on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Current risk reduction policies and strategies are informed by existing scientific evidence, which is limited due to the challenges of studying the complex relationship between exposure at work and outside work and health. We define the working life exposome as all occupational and related nonoccupational exposures. The latter includes nonoccupational exposures that may be directly or indirectly influenced by or interact with the working life of the individual in their relation to health. The Exposome Project for Health and Occupational Research aims to advance knowledge on the complex working life exposures in relation to disease beyond the single high exposure-single health outcome paradigm, mapping and relating interrelated exposures to inherent biological pathways, key body functions, and health. This will be achieved by combining (1) large-scale harmonization and pooling of existing European cohorts systematically looking at multiple exposures and diseases, with (2) the collection of new high-resolution external and internal exposure data. Methods and tools to characterize the working life exposome will be developed and applied, including sensors, wearables, a harmonized job exposure matrix (EuroJEM), noninvasive biomonitoring, omics, data mining, and (bio)statistics. The toolbox of developed methods and knowledge will be made available to policy makers, occupational health practitioners, and scientists. Advanced knowledge on working life exposures in relation to NCDs will serve as a basis for evidence-based and cost-effective preventive policies and actions. The toolbox will also enable future scientists to further expand the working life exposome knowledge base.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere185
JournalEnvironmental epidemiology
Issue number2
Early online date17 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2022


  • Exposome
  • Noncommunicable disease
  • Occupational
  • Working life


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