​Public health tracks infectious diseases across the country, and we know the incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases at the state level. However, we are not able to calculate how many people at the local level have increased exposure to chemicals. 

This is despite the fact that googling the words “chemicals & health” yields hundreds of thousands of news stories and a MOOC on the topic has enrolled 35,000 people. How can we better integrate biomonitoring into surveillance at the state and local level?

APHL does our part through a National Biomonitoring Network of laboratories.

Already a loosely-organized network structure exists that includes local, state and federal partners communicating about biomonitoring and exposure assessment. Comprehensive guidance documents assist laboratories and epidemiologists interested in beginning a biomonitoring program, while an online toolkit (Biomonitoring Toolkit) features document libraries, a discussion board and relevant links.

Over the next five years, we plan to:

  • Formalize the network structure
  • Harmonize biomonitoring measurements
  • Fully incorporate biomonitoring measurements into routine public health surveillance
  • Plan for how to house biomonitoring data in a clearinghouse

Other Resources

CDC’s Environmental Health Laboratory
CDC’s Environmental Health Tracking Program
National Research Council report on Biomonitoring


Biomonitoring California's Results Communication Approach
Identifying Addictive and Toxic Substances in Tobacco Products