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About Helix

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

Project number FP7-ENV-2012-308333
Starting date 01/01/2013
Duration 54 months
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.

HELIX Workpackages

HELIX Workpackages

Conceptual Framework of the HELIX project strucuture


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