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What is Human Biomonitoring?

Biomonitoring in the US and Responses

Bioethical Controversies

California's Biomonitoring Program

California Controversies

Future of Biomonitoring

Links and Resources

Comments and Questions to:



California's Biomonitoring Program

History of the Biomonitoring Program

In 2001, the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to develop a plan for a state-based, human biomonitoring program. In 2003, after completing the plan, the CDHS applied for an additional grant from the CDC to fund the proposed program. The CDHS did not receive the grant, and, along with interested citizens, began to push the California state legislature to fund the comprehensive biomonitoring program (Califonia Biomonitoring..., 2006). Governor Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 1379 into law in September of 2006. Though the new law does not dictate many of the specifics of how biomonitoring will be carried out, it did create the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program (CECBP) and established governing bodies to implement the program.



Who Will Oversee the Program

The CECBP will be housed under the California Department of Health Services. It will, however, be jointly operated by both the CDHS and the California Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA). A scientific guidance panel of nine members will be established to:

  1. provide peer review,
  2. design the program,
  3. choose which chemicals will be monitored, and
  4. implement the program.

The Governor will appoint five members, the Senate Committee on Rules will appoint two members, and the Speaker of the Assembly will appoint two members. The Office of the President of the University of California will give recommendations for appointees. All members will serve rotating three-year terms (Bill 1379, 2006).



What the Bill Says

The California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program implements a comprehensive program to test 10,000 Californians for the presence of a currently undetermined number of substances. The biomonitoring will take place on a strictly confidential and voluntary basis. Individuals who are tested will have access to their own results. Additionally, the CECBP is charged with providing counseling should results indicate a significant health risk.

The program also aims to utilize the principles of the California Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Justice Strategy and Environmental Justice Action Plan. These principles affirm that the work of the CECBP will,

Promote equity and afford fair treatment, accessibility, and protection for all Californians, regardless of race, age, culture, income, or geographic location. (p 6, Senate Bill 1379)

Link: Califonia Department of Health Services, Biomonitoring Program















Image 12. Pollution on the San Gabriel River.




Last updated:  May, 2007


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