What is biomonitoring?

Biomonitoring is a technique for measuring chemicals in our bodies.  It involves collecting a person’s blood, urine, or another body fluid or tissue.  These are then analyzed to see if certain chemicals are present, and at what levels.  A good example of biomonitoring is the widespread testing of children’s blood to make sure that they do not have high levels of lead.  Lead can cause a number of serious health problems.

We come into contact with hundreds of environmental chemicals each day through the food we eat, the beverages we drink, the air we breathe, and the products we use.  Biomonitoring can give us information about which chemicals get into our bodies and how much we have been exposed to.  In addition, biomonitoring can provide information to help evaluate how well government programs protect people from harmful chemicals.


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