What Is Biomonitoring?


"Biomonitoring is the assessment of human exposure to environmental chemicals by measuring the chemicals or their metabolites in human blood, urine, saliva, or tissue. The results of such measurement are usually called "body burden." Nearly all of us carry a body burden of chemicals that sometimes is sufficiently substantial to either cause or exacerbate illness.

Biomonitoring can be used to:

-International POPs Elimination Network, Community Monitoring Working Group fact sheet on biomonitoring

"Biomonitoring measurements are the most health-relevant assessments of exposure because they measure the amount of the chemical that actually gets into people, not the amount that may get into people."

-U.S. Centers for Disease Control, National Biomonitoring Program 

 

Links to Biomonitoring Studies


Studies by Government Agencies

CANADA: Canadian Health Measures Survey
"The Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) aims to collect important health information through an household interview and direct physical measures at a mobile clinic."

GERMANY: Human Biomonitoring Commission, German Federal Environment Agency

USA: States of California and Minnesota (programs under development)

USA: National Report on Human Exposures to Environmental Chemicals, U.S. Centers for Disease Control National Biomonitoring Program
"The National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals (National Exposure Report) is a series of ongoing assessments of the U.S. population's exposure to environmental chemicals using biomonitoring."

USA: U.S. National Children's Study
"This study is the largest ever undertaken to assess the effects of the environment on child and adult health. This nationwide study follows a representative sample of children from early life through adulthood and seeks information to prevent and treat health problems such as autism, birth defects, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity."

WHO (World Health Organization): Biomonitoring of Human Milk for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
"Since 1976 the World Health Organization through its GEMS/Food Programme has collected and evaluated information on levels of persistent organic pollutants in foods, including human milk. Over the period 1987-2003, it has coordinated three international studies of human milk to assess the levels and trends of polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls."

UN (United Nations): Safe Planet Campaign
In progress, campaign includes body burden testing of celebrities. See press release.

Studies by Nonprofit Organizations (USA, Canada, UK)

ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP & COMMONWEAL: The Human Toxome Project: Mapping the Pollution in People
"Just as scientists raced to define the human genome, the Human Toxome Project (HTP) at Environmental Working Group is working to define the human toxome-the full scope of industrial pollution in humanity. HTP scientists use cutting edge biomonitoring techniques to test for industrial chemicals like bisphenol A and perchlorate that enter the body through pollution or even as ingredients in everyday consumer products." 

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE: Toxic Nation
"Canadians are polluted with a toxic mix of harmful chemicals. Toxic Nation shows how your body is polluted. And what you can do to get the pollution out of you and all Canadians."

WWF-UK: Contamination: The Next Generation - The Results of the Family Chemical Contamination Survey

SIGHTLINE INSTITUTE: Flame Retardants in the Bodies of Pacific Northwest Residents

GLOBAL COMMUNITY MONITOR: East Bay Body Burden Project

TOXIC-FREE LEGACY COALITION (Washington State): Pollution in People

OREGON ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL: Pollution in People

ALLIANCE FOR A CLEAN & HEALTHY VERMONT: The Chemicals in Me

PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Hazardous Chemicals in Health Care: A Snapshot of Chemicals in Doctors and Nurses

ALASKA COMMUNITY ACTION ON TOXICS, COMMONWEAL, & THE LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES INITIATIVE: Mind, Disrupted: How Toxic Chemicals May Change How We Think and Who We Are

ALLIANCE FOR A CLEAN & HEALTHY MAINE: Body of Evidence: A Study of Pollution in Maine People

PESTICIDE ACTION NETWORK NORTH AMERICA (PANNA): Chemical Trespass: Pesticides in Our Bodies and Corporate Accountability

 

Additional Resources


http://www.biomonitoring06.org/