Biomonitoring measures the total amount of specific chemicals in a person's body at a given time. It can be used to determine the type of chemical exposure a person has experienced but often not the exact source of contamination. For example, biomonitoring can detect lead in blood, but will not indicate how or where the person was exposed to lead). When samples are collected broadly and systematically, biomonitoring data can help identify and track trends, such as geographic regions with higher than normal exposure levels, or exposures to emerging contaminants. It can also let us know when exposure is no longer a concern, perhaps as the result of a public health intervention.
National Biomonitoring Network
The National Biomonitoring Network (NBN) is a collaboration of federal, regional, state and local laboratories that conduct biomonitoring for use in public health practice and in response to environmental emergencies. The network aims to advance the science of biomonitoring, encourage its use in addressing environmental health questions and ensure quality practices, which will help produce comparable biomonitoring data.
Learn more about the NBN and how to join.
NCEH/ATSDR created the PFAS Exposure Assessment Technical Tools (PEATT) to help state, local, tribal and territorial health departments conduct PFAS biomonitoring activities, should they choose to. The PEATT includes:
Biomonitoring sampling and analysis protocol
Exposure and health effects question bank
Biomonitoring letters of interpretation, consent, assent
Risk communication materials
Laboratory biomonitoring sample collection and analysis protocols
Recommended EPA water sampling protocol
Request a copy of the PEATT by emailing
Learn More About Biomonitoring
APHL Blog &
Lab Matters Magazine
APHL Technical Publications
To learn more about biomonitoring, email
Jennifer Liebreich, manager, Environmental Health.