California Regional Exposure (CARE) Study

Study of metals and other environmental chemicals in adults across the state, conducted one region at a time

CARE Study logo, showing California in outline, with words: California Regional Exposure Study

The goal of the California Regional Exposure (CARE) Study is to measure and compare environmental chemicals in people across the state. This information will support efforts to reduce chemical exposure in Californians and improve public health.

The study will measure levels of selected metals in urine and/or blood, and levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in serum. Participants will be recruited from eight regions of the state, with one to two regions covered each year depending on resources. 

In each region, we will:

  • Enroll between 300-500 adults, representing different racial and ethnic backgrounds, income levels, and communities within the study area
  • Collect information from participants to identify potential exposure sources
  • Collect blood and urine samples
  • Measure levels of selected metals and perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances
  • Return individual results to participants
  • Hold community meetings to describe overall study findings
  • Release summary results to the public through our website

The CARE Study was launched in 2018 in our first region, Los Angeles County (CARE-LA). In 2019, we visited Region 2, which included Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial, Mono, and Inyo counties (CARE-2). Enrollment and sample collection for CARE-3 began in San Diego and Orange counties in early 2020, but these activities are currently on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency. Please check for study updates. 

We are collaborating with local community groups and organizations to help recruit participants. If you would like more information on how you can be involved in this project, email us at

CARE-LA and CARE-2 were supported in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreement #U88EH001148.

Project Type: 

Full project collaboration

Project Status: 



Between 300-500 adults (age 18 and up) per region, for a total of up to 8000 statewide

Sample Collection Date: 

2018 - ongoing

Sample Collection Area: 

California, divided into eight regions

Map of California, showing different regions of the state

Biomonitoring California Guide Banner

Upcoming Meetings / Reuniónes futuras