By 2030 more than 80% of Europe’s population will live and interact with a complex urban environment, consisting of a mixture of social and environmental factors. These factors include: where we live and work, where and what we eat, our social network, and what chemical substances we are exposed to. Individually or collectively these factors, known as the Urban Exposome, have an often modifiable impact on our health and provide important targets to improve population health. By studying the impact of the Urban Exposome on the major contributors to Europe’s burden of disease: Cardio-Metabolic and Pulmonary Disease, EXPANSE will address one of the most pertinent questions for urban planners, policy makers, and European citizens: “How to maximize one’s health in a modern urban environment?”
EXPANSE will take the next step in Exposome research by: 1) bringing together the Exposome and health data of more than 55 million Europeans in administrative cohorts, in-depth Exposome, phenotype, and OMICs information for more than 2 million Europeans, and personalized Exposome assessment for 5,000 individuals living in five “Urban Labs”; 2) applying a novel approach to use ultra-high-resolution mass-spectrometry to agnostically screen for exogenous chemicals in 10,000 blood samples; 3) studying the evolution of the Exposome and health through the life-course via both (matured) birth and adult cohorts; and 4) evaluating the impact of changes in the Urban Exposome on the burden of Cardio-Metabolic and Pulmonary Disease.
EXPANSE will translate its insights and innovations into research and dissemination tools that will be openly accessible via the EXPANSE toolbox. By applying innovative ethics-by-design throughout the project, the social and ethical acceptability of these tools will be safeguarded. Tool discoverability and accessibility will be stimulated through the EXPANSE hub in which citizens, public sector policy makers, and private sector companies collectively participate.