Acrylamide, a substance potentially carcinogenic in humans, represents a very prevalent contaminant in food and is also contained in tobacco smoke. Occupational exposure to higher concentrations of acrylamide was shown to induce neurotoxicity in humans. To minimize related risks for public health, it is vital to obtain data on the actual level of exposure in differently affected segments of the population. To achieve this aim, acrylamide has been added to the list of substances of concern to be investigated in the HBM4EU project, a European initiative to obtain biomonitoring data for a number of pollutants highly relevant for public health. This report summarizes the results obtained for acrylamide, with a focus on time-trends and recent exposure levels, obtained by HBM4EU as well as by associated studies in a total of seven European countries. Mean biomarker levels were compared by sampling year and time-trends were analyzed using linear regression models and an adequate statistical test. An increasing trend of acrylamide biomarker concentrations was found in children for the years 2014–2017, while in adults an overall increase in exposure was found to be not significant for the time period of observation (2000–2021). For smokers, represented by two studies and sampling for, over a total three years, no clear tendency was observed. In conclusion, samples from European countries indicate that average acrylamide exposure still exceeds suggested benchmark levels and may be of specific concern in children. More research is required to confirm trends of declining values observed in most recent years.
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- exposure level