The success of the Human Genome Project has prompted interest in advancing the nascent field of exposomics. The exposome, which is dynamic and variable and changes over time, consists of all the internal and external exposures an individual has over a lifetime beginning with the prenatal period and early childhood. Efforts are underway to decipher the human epigenome by identifying the effects of all deleterious environmental exposures according to duration of exposure and time period. In this article, we argue that the deciphering of the human exposome should be accompanied by sustained efforts to address the ethical, social and legal implications (ELSI) of exposomics. This will require financial investments from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the European Union and other public and private funding agencies, analogous to support provided by NIH to address ELSI issues in genomics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects
- Health Policy