California’s Biomonitoring program was established in 2006 with the passage of SB 1379. The program is a collaborative effort of three departments: The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), and the Office of Environmental Health Hazards Assessment (OEHHA). These agencies collect and study biological specimens with the ultimate goals of:
- Determining levels of environmental chemicals in a representative sample of Californians;
- Establishing trends in the levels of the chemicals over time; and
- Helping assess the effectiveness of public health efforts and regulatory programs to reduce exposures of Californians to specific chemicals.
Now in 2014, it has launched a new database that allows you to explore results from all Biomonitoring California projects. You can search for information by project or by chemical of interest. Currently the database has five projects and eleven chemical groups. The projects are California Teachers Study (CTS); Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS); Firefighter Occupational Exposures (FOX) Project; Markers of Autism Risk in Babies-Learning Early Signs (MARBLES); and Maternal and Infant Environmental Exposure Project (MIEEP). The eleven chemicals are: environmental phenols, herbicides, metals, organochlorine pesticides, organophosophate pesticides, perfluorochemicals (PFCs), phthalates, polybrominated diphenly ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and pyrethroid pesticides.
As more states regulate chemical ingredients in products (Vermont, California, Commerce Clause) and as current versions of TSCA Reform (House and Senate) seek to empower the federal EPA to do the same, the information produced by this project and the data it produces may have regulatory relevance in many jurisdictions in the future.