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Environmental Health Division
Minnesota Biomonitoring Program - About Us
What is biomonitoring?
Biomonitoring measures levels of chemicals in Minnesotans and whether chemical exposures differ between groups and over time. This information is used to promote public health actions to reduce chemical exposures.
We are all exposed to chemicals in our air, water, food and consumer products. Some can be harmful to our health. Biomonitoring tells us about people's exposure to chemicals by measuring them in blood or urine.
Why is biomonitoring important?
We can use biomonitoring to:
- Measure and track changes in chemical exposures over time
- Identify groups that are highly exposed to chemicals
- Inform and evaluate programs and policies to reduce exposures.
In Minnesota, the Biomonitoring Program at the Minnesota Department of Health has created a strategic plan to guide its work. In particular, we are dedicated to protecting those who are most vulnerable to the effects of chemicals found in Minnesota and who are least able to modify their environment to avoid exposure. This includes newborns and children, women of childbearing age, and people in disadvantaged communities.
Expert advisory panel
Program activities are guided by the Commissioner of Health and an expert Advisory Panel, and are conducted in coordination with the Minnesota Tracking Program. Partners include the MDH Public Health Laboratory and the CDC National Biomonitoring Program.
Established by statute
The MN Biomonitoring program was established by the 2007 Minnesota Legislature under Minnesota Statues 144.995-144.998. Minnesota was among the first states nationally to create a biomonitoring program, preceded by California in 2006. The program is funded by the joint Minnesota Pollution Control Agency-MDH Environmental Risks Initiative.
Learn more about the establishment and evolution of Minnesota Biomonitoring and Tracking Programs.
Biomonitoring Links - find links to useful state and national biomonitoring groups and initiatives