CDC Cooperative Agreement 2009

Awarded for 2009-2014 (Grant Number U38EH000481)

Biomonitoring California was awarded $2.65 million
as part of a 5-year cooperative agreement with the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC Biomonitoring Cooperative Agreement Abstract:
Enhancing the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program


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 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, also known as Biomonitoring California) aims to identify and measure, in human blood and urine samples, environmental chemicals of greatest concern to Californians. 

Established by legislation in 2006, Biomonitoring California is collaboratively implemented by the State’s Department of Public Health, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and Department of Toxic Substances Control. A distinguished Scientific Guidance Panel provides technical oversight to Biomonitoring California and there are substantial opportunities for public input.  California has often led the country in environmental regulation, and biomonitoring can play a key role in assessing the efficacy of measures to reduce chemical exposures and in helping to shape the State’s Green Chemistry Initiative.

Biomonitoring California has been awarded a five-year cooperative agreement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the purpose of increasing state biomonitoring laboratory capability and capacity. The award for year one, beginning September 1, 2009, is $2,652,487; about 90% of this amount will be used to hire laboratory staff and purchase new laboratory equipment. Funding for subsequent years of the cooperative agreement is subject to availability of funds and satisfactory progress of the project. The goals of the agreement are as follows:

  • Expand laboratory capability and capacity to assess human exposures to environmental chemicals of greatest concern to Californians;
  • Provide laboratory support for public health and exposure investigations, epidemiologic investigations, and population-based biomonitoring;
  • Conduct targeted exposure investigations in collaboration with communities and stakeholder groups;
  • Assess the effectiveness of state public health actions to reduce exposures over time to specific chemicals of concern to Californians; and
  • Integrate biomonitoring findings into the development and implementation of chemical policy for California under the Green Chemistry Initiative.

Under the cooperative agreement, Biomonitoring California will carry out the following activities:

  • Acquire and install new laboratory equipment to allow sensitive, high-throughput analyses of multiple chemical analytes;
  • Hire and train additional laboratory and other program staff;
  • Revise and upgrade laboratory management procedures and reconfigure the existing Laboratory Information Management System;
  • Undertake targeted biomonitoring field investigations in collaboration with California’s Environmental Health Tracking Program, local health departments, and other community and public health partners;
  • Select one or more statewide or regional biospecimen collection efforts for population-based biomonitoring; and
  • Expand existing public outreach and education activities.

Information about activities of Biomonitoring California will continue to be made available to the public through meetings of the Program’s Scientific Guidance Panel, postings on the Biomonitoring California website, and other events.

To receive regular updates about Biomonitoring California and activities to be carried out through the cooperative agreement, please join the listserv

Inquiries can also be sent to: biomonitoring@oehha.ca.gov.

Visit the CDC website for more information about CDC grants to state biomonitoring programs.

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