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Minnesota Family Environmental Exposure Tracking (MN FEET)

photo of woman working in laboratory

About this project

Minnesota Family Environmental Exposure Tracking (MN FEET) is measuring mercury, lead, and cadmium in Minnesota women and their babies. The project will involve around 600 women who are Hmong, Somali, Latina, or White. MN FEET is part of a larger MN Biomonitoring effort to track exposures to chemicals in vulnerable Minnesota populations with a focus on pregnant women, children, and disadvantaged communities. It is being conducted in partnership with the HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research and the SoLaHmo Partnership for Health and Wellness at West Side Community Health Services.

Why we are doing this project

We are concerned about mercury, lead, and cadmium because they can be harmful to babies’ health. These chemicals get into women’s bodies from some foods, products, and the environment. MN FEET will see if women in some communities have high levels of the chemicals. The project will help us learn how families and communities can protect their babies from these chemicals.

How the project works

Women who are pregnant and getting care at some West Side Community Health Services and HealthPartners clinics may be contacted by their clinic to learn more and be invited to join.

Women who consent to join will:

  • Answer a questionnaire over the phone
  • Allow a small amount of cord blood and their urine to be collected after their baby's birth
  • Get test results for levels of mercury, lead and cadmium
  • Get help protecting their families from these chemicals

Project status

MN FEET will start in summer 2015. Check back here for more information. For questions or more information about MN FEET, call 651-201-4233 or contact

Related projects

To learn more about the work MDH is doing to measure mercury and other metals in Minnesota babies, visit:

Return to the MN Biomonitoring: Chemicals in People.

Updated Friday, June 26, 2015 at 12:59PM