Biomonitoring implementation update

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 14, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

A California biomonitoring program was established in 2006 per Senate President pro Tempore Don Perata’s (D-Oakland) SB 1379.  Biomonitoring is the measurement of chemicals (or their metabolites) in a person’s body fluids or tissues, such as blood or urine.  It tells us the amount of the chemical that actually gets into people from all sources (for example, from air, soil, water, dust, and food) combined. 

The purpose of the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program is to:

1.    Evaluate the presence of toxic chemicals in a representative sample of Californians.  Participants in the sample must represent the economic, racial and ethnic composition of the state’s population;
2.    Establish trends in the levels of these chemicals over time; and
3.    Assess the effectiveness of public health efforts and regulatory programs to decrease exposures to specific chemicals.

The program will be administered by a collaboration of the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Health Hazard Assessment and California’s Department of Public Health.  A nine-member Scientific Guidance Panel (SGP) was appointed in September of 2007.

From the first meeting in December, it appears obvious that the SGP will rely heavily on the Federal Centers for Disease Control for protocols, methodology and direction on chemicals to be studied.  No chemicals were selected for studying during this meeting.  However, three follow-up workshops are scheduled to obtain public input concerning what initial chemicals should be included.  These workshops are scheduled for Los Angeles on March 24, Oakland on April 3 and Fresno on April 23.

A biennial report to the Legislature on progress is required with the first report due on January 1, 2010. 

This program is entirely funded out of California’s General Fund.  Due to the current budget deficit, there are significant concerns about whether there will be sufficient funds to proceed.

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