google+ facebook twitter email print

Biomonitoring in the States

Jan 25, 2007Biomonitoring measures the amount of toxic chemicals, or pollution, in people. Last year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law the nation's first statewide biomonitoring program, SB1379. This year, bills to create state biomonitoring programs have been introduced in Indiana by NCEL participant Representative Ryan Dvorak (HB1473) and in Washington (HB1570). In New York, NCEL participant Assemblymember David Koon is pushing legislation (A1958) to develop an environmental health tracking system that includes a biomonitoring component.

With over 100,000 man-made chemicals registered for use today, only 10% have been tested for effects on humans, according to the Breast Cancer Fund. The Breast Cancer Fund was a major proponent of California new biomonitoring law. Supporters of state biomonitoring programs believe biomonitoring is a scientific tool that can provide needed exposure information, which is a key component for assessing the effects of chemicals on human health.

Opponents to California's biomonitoring law, which include the American Chemistry Council and the Bromine Science and Environmental Forum, are concerned that decision makers may see biomonitoring information and presume a cause and effect between chemicals in a person's body and adverse health problems.

The new California law, according to the Breast Cancer Fund, does the following:

1) Creates a statewide biomonitoring program to measure chemical contaminants in humans. All biomonitoring will be voluntary, and individuals’ results will be strictly confidential.

2) Allows program participants to receive results if they so choose.

3) Conducts smaller studies to examine the difference between individual communities and sub-populations.

4) Establishes a science guidance panel to oversee the biomonitoring program.

5) Creates educational and outreach materials and require public participation.

6) Ensures the program is conduced in an ethical and participatory manner.

Below, you will find links to more information on biomonitoring, copies of California's law, fact sheets, and proposed bills in other states. Many of the documents were prepared by the Breast Cancer Fund.

California SB1379:
Fact Sheet for CA SB1379:
Organizations That Supported CA SB1379:
Frequently Asked Questions about Biomonitoring:
Myths vs. Fact:

Indiana HB1473:
Indiana HB1473 Fiscal Note:

New York
New York A1958:
New York A1958 Bill Summary:

Washington HB1570:
Washington HB1570 Bill Summary:

Breast Cancer Fund
Breast Cancer Fund:
Breast Cancer Fund Legislative Resources:

Center for Disease Control
Center for Disease Control (CDC):
Center for Disease Control's Biomonitoring Report (7/2005):

Commonweal (a health and environmental research institute)
Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center:

Article on Biomonitoring:

[Get Acrobat Reader]
google+ facebook twitter email print