Biomonitoring is the measurement of people’s exposure to chemicals. The key objective is to advance the understanding of health implications of environmental chemical exposures.
In the 1970s, the National Biomonitoring Program was established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Biomonitoring specimens from the U.S. population have been collected through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). This program monitors the levels of environmental chemicals in the U.S. population and assesses trends over time.
Biomonitoring efforts have helped to influence public policies including reduction of lead in gasoline, and banning of bisphenol-A (BPA) and certain phthalates in children’s products. Biomonitoring can be used to monitor the success of education and intervention programs, such as the tobacco cessation efforts.
As of 2019, 14 states have established their own biomonitoring programs to monitor chemicals of local concern.
These programs provide us with some baselines; however, the sample sizes are restricted (for example, every two years, approximately 3000 individuals participate in the NHANES).
Million Marker’s mission is to crowdsource the biomonitoring of environmental chemicals and to provide actionable results in a timely manner in order to empower individuals to proactively assess, track, and reduce their exposures.