Internal exposure of the human body to potentially harmful chemical substances can be assessed by Human Biomonitoring (HBM). HBM can be used to generate conclusive data that may provide an overview of exposure levels in entire or specific population groups. This knowledge can promote the understanding of potential risks of the substances of interest or help monitoring the success of regulatory measures taken on the political level. Study planning and design are key elements of any epidemiologic study to generate reliable data. In the field of HBM, this has been done using differing approaches on various levels of population coverage so far. Comparison and combined usage of the resulting data would contribute to understanding exposure and its factors on a larger scale, however, the differences between studies make this a challenging and somewhat limited endeavour.
This article presents templates for documents that are required to set up an HBM study, thus facilitating the generation of harmonised HBM data as a step towards standardisation of HBM in Europe. They are designed to be modular and adaptable to the specific needs of a single study while emphasising minimum requirements to ensure comparability. It further elaborates on the challenges encountered during the process of creating these documents during the runtime of the European Joint Programme HBM4EU in a multi-national expert team and draws up lessons learnt in the context of knowledge management.