Asian/Pacific Islander Community Exposures (ACE) Project - ACE 1

Study of metals and perfluoroalkyl and polyfluroalkyl substances in Asian/Pacific Islander adults living in the San Francisco Bay area

A mulit-generational family of Asian-Americans sharing a meal

The Asian/Pacific Islander Community Exposures (ACE) Project is measuring levels of selected metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury) in urine and/or blood, and levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in serum.  For the first phase of the ACE Project, ACE 1, we recruited Chinese adult participants who had lived in the San Francisco Bay area for at least one year. In ACE 2, the project was expanded to include Vietnamese adult participants. We hope to conduct additional phases of the ACE Project to include other Asian/Pacific Islander (API) groups  (e.g., Hmong).

The API community appears to have higher levels of certain chemicals, including metals and PFASs, compared to people from other ethnic/racial groups. Factors affecting levels of these chemicals could include dietary preferences, such as regular consumption of fish and rice, and the use of traditional remedies, such as some herbal medicines. Information from the ACE Project will expand our understanding of chemical exposures in the API community, which makes up approximately 14% of the California population.

ACE 1 was conducted in collaboration with APA Family Support Services (APA), a community-based non-profit organization that provides social services promoting healthy families among low-income and non-English speaking communities in San Francisco's Chinatown and other locations throughout the city. APA has been a trusted source of health education and support in the API community since 1987, and a long-time partner of the California Department of Public Health. For ACE 1, staff from APA and Biomonitoring California worked together to:

  • Engage with community leaders, including providing information on biomonitoring and how it can support community health
  • Recruit participants
  • Conduct exposure assessment interviews, with bilingual staff as needed
  • Develop language- and culturally appropriate project materials
  • Report laboratory results to individuals
  • Present overall study results to the community

Project Type: 

Full project collaboration

Project Status: 



100 Chinese adults living in the San Francisco Bay area

Sample Collection Date: 


Sample Collection Area: 

San Francisco Bay area

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