Enhancing the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program

Project Timeline: 9/1/2009-8/31/2014

California residents experience widespread exposures to toxic chemicals suitable for biomonitoring, including halogenated flame retardants in furniture and children’s products, mercury in fish, pesticides throughout the state’s extensive agricultural regions, perchlorate in drinking water and produce, and many others. In recognition of the importance of biomonitoring as an integral component of public health surveillance, the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program (CECBP) was established through State legislation in 2006; the Program is structured to identify and biomonitor environmental chemicals of greatest concern to Californians. CECBP implementation is a collaborative effort of the State’s Department of Public Health, Department of Toxic Substances Control, and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, with technical oversight by a distinguished Scientific Guidance Panel and substantial opportunities for public input. California’s environmental regulatory programs are often bellwethers for the country; biomonitoring can play a key role in assessing the efficacy of a number of recent measures to reduce specific chemical exposures, and in helping to shape the State’s nascent Green Chemistry Initiative.
At the end of the 5-year Cooperative Agreement, we will achieve the following objectives:
1) Establish the laboratory capabilities and needed capacity to conduct over 13,000
assays/year for up to 14 classes of chemicals in human urine or blood;
2) Demonstrate the success of our quality management system to receive, transport, track,
inventory, process, and analyze biospecimens; generate reports; and maintain
biospecimen archives;
3) Apply laboratory biomonitoring methods to assess and track trends in exposure levels for
selected environmental chemicals among targeted populations, including vulnerable
groups, such as pregnant women and their infants;
4) Assess exposures to and track trends in selected environmental chemicals in a
representative group of Californians by determining the levels of those chemicals in biospecimens, and determining the prevalence of levels above known toxicity or clinical action thresholds among California residents;
5) Engage and collaborate with stakeholders and communities in exposure assessment investigations and in the development of outreach and educational materials and results communication methods.