European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Exposome project for health and occupational research

Project description

New research for a healthy working environment

Working conditions contribute to the development of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In addition to demographic changes due to the rise in the ageing population and women at work, migration also presents new challenges to ensuring a healthy workforce . As a result, the European Commission is particularly interested in creating healthy working environments. The exposome, which takes into account all relevant exposure throughout the course of life in relation to health, is a promising concept for elucidating the complex relationships between environment and disease. The working-life exposome can be defined as the measure of the entire occupational and related non-occupational exposures of an individual. Taking a working-life exposome approach will provide better insights into the relationships between exposure related to work and disease at different life stages and for vulnerable groups. . The EU-funded EPHOR project will develop a working-life exposome toolbox that will provide scientists, occupational health practitioners and policy makers with advanced methods to collect individual data and with knowledge of the relationship between working life exposome and NCDs as well as methods to evaluate its social and economic impacts.


Exposures at the workplace contribute to many non-communicable diseases (NCDs) with a similar magnitude as urban air pollution or obesity. Given the associated societal and economic (2-6% GDP) pressure, ensuring a healthy work environment is a strategic goal for the European Commission. Demographic changes (aging workforce, female workers) and the rapidly changing nature of work with respect to secure employment and migration, are posing additional challenges. We define the working-life exposome as all occupational and related non-occupational factors (general and socio-economic environment, lifestyle, behaviour). Taking a working-life exposome approach will help address these challenges by providing better insights in how complex working-life exposures are related to NCDs, for vulnerable groups (female, migrant, insecure job workers) or life stages. The working-life exposome is in its infancy and new approaches and methods are needed. In EPHOR a consortium of exposure, health and data scientists and technology developers will develop a working-life exposome toolbox, with stakeholder involvement. The toolbox will make available to scientists, policy makers and occupational health practitioners: 1) innovative methods for collection, storage, and interpretation of more complete and individual level working life exposome data; 2) better knowledge on how the working life exposome relates to NCDs, including complex interactions, vulnerability, biological pathways and early signs of health damage, by uniquely combining large-scale pooling of existing cohorts with focused case studies; 3) models for assessing the economic and societal impact of working life exposures. EPHOR will lay the groundwork for evidence-based and cost-effective preventive actions to reduce the burden of NCDs as a result of the working-life exposome. Thereby, health, wellbeing and productivity of the EU population will be improved and the burden on the EU health care systems reduced. EPHOR is part of the European Human Exposome Network comprised of 9 projects selected from this same call.

Call for proposal


See other projects for this call

Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 1 385 255,76
2595 DA Den Haag

See on map

West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Agglomeratie ’s-Gravenhage
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 385 255,76

Participants (19)