About the exposome

The environment has a major impact on our health.

Exposure to air pollution and harmful chemicals, or a lack of access to a balanced diet or green spaces like parks, are examples of factors that can negatively impact health and potentially increase the risk of developing various diseases.

The human exposome refers to the totality of environmental exposures that we are exposed to throughout our lifetime, starting from conception and pregnancy. Understanding the human exposome is important to help policymakers identify and address harmful exposures.

Project goals
and objectives


Design an international human exposome network that engages with a wide variety of stakeholders


Identify and make available tools and resources on the exposome at a global scale


Launch exposome demonstrator projects to test exposome tools and resources


Develop a roadmap for future exposome research


Communicate and disseminate the IHEN project results

Building on the legacy of the European Human
Exposome Network (EHEN)

IHEN builds partly on the European Human Exposome Network (EHEN), an umbrella network of nine research projects funded by the European Union’s framework programme for research and innovation (Horizon 2020).

EHEN launched in 2020 to study the impact of environmental exposures on human health and will run until 2025. The network addresses issues such as exposure to air quality, noise, chemicals and urbanisation, with each project tackling different elements of exposome research.

EHEN’s results will contribute to advancing the European Green Deal’s ambition to protect citizens’ health from pollution and environmental deterioration by providing new evidence for better preventative policies.