Biomonitoring program reduced in scope

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Nov. 5, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On Tuesday, November 2nd the Biomonitoring Scientific Guidance Panel met at Cal/EPA in Sacramento to take public comment on a draft “Public Involvement Plan” (http://oehha.ca.gov/multimedia/biomon/pdf/DraftPlan092910.pdf).

The biomonitoring program, mandated in SB 1379 (Don Perata, D-Oakland, Chapter 599, Statutes of 2006), measures levels of environmental contaminants in California residents.  The program is a collaboration of three departments in California state government: the Department of Public Health, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and the Department of Toxic Substances Control. Information gathered is intended to identify emerging environmental hazards, to evaluate the effectiveness of existing environmental programs and ultimately to be used by policy-makers to protect Californians from environmental contaminants through better environmental programs and laws.

Due to budget constraints, the scope of the program, as earlier contemplated, is being reduced and the program has slowed down considerably.  A representative statewide sampling is no longer feasible. Rather than independent random testing, the program will now rely upon cooperative agreements (data collected by Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco General Hospital, etc.)  This means that sample sizes will be considerably smaller than earlier anticipated.

Also discussed at Tuesday’s meeting were biomonitoring reference levels, the Firefighter Occupational Exposure Project, chemical selection planning and the need to consider manganese as a “potential designated chemical”.

The Public Involvement Plan is expected to be finalized and posted to the web in March, 2011.

To see an update of the program provided to meeting participants, go to: http://oehha.ca.gov/multimedia/biomon/pdf/102810BCupdate.pdf

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