Advisory Panel Recommendations

The 2007 Minnesota law that established the Environmental Health Tracking and Biomonitoring program also established an external Advisory Panel of experts in public health and environmental science. This Panel plays a key role in providing scientific guidance and recommendations for program priorities and projects. Based on the findings and successes of the program activities to date, the Panel recommends that the Minnesota Department of Health:

  • Conduct additional mercury biomonitoring to find out whether newborns in regions outside of the Lake Superior Basin are also exposed to harmful levels of mercury during prenatal development and to identify the sources of those exposures. Elevated mercury exposure puts newborns at risk of experiencing deficits in learning later in life.

  • Continue PFC biomonitoring in the East Metro area to reassure the community that the actions taken to reduce exposures are still working. Although PFC levels in community residents have declined since 2008, the average 2010 levels were still somewhat higher than levels found in the general U.S. population. It can take several years for the body to remove PFCs.

  • Build a Framework for an Ongoing Biomonitoring Program that will focus on vulnerable children and disadvantaged communities, identify disparities in exposure, and track progress over time. Before birth and through infancy and childhood, children are highly sensitive to chemicals in their environment. Yet large gaps exist in the data on pregnant women and children. MDH can help to fill this gap by providing data that will inform decisions and evaluate actions for protecting the next generation.

Additional information about the Panel's recommendations is available in the Environmental Health Tracking and Biomonitoring: 2013 Legislative Report (PDF: 3.7MB/52 pages)

The state appropriation that supports tracking and biomonitoring activities is a one-time appropriation that will expire in June 2013. MDH's ability to carry out these recommendations depends on the availability of funding for sample collection, laboratory and data analysis, and community outreach. To view additional information, see Tracking and Biomonitoring Accomplishments and Tracking in Action.

Updated Monday, 10-Feb-2014 10:37:06 CST