Biomonitoring is a method of measuring a person’s exposure to various chemical substances using biological samples.
The goal is to assess human exposures to chemicals by measuring for the presence of those chemicals in human blood, urine, hair or saliva. This information is used to help prevent and reduce excessive exposures and aid in the disease prevention.
Learn more through New Mexico Environmental Public Health Tracking.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN BIOMONITORING CONSORTIUM
The New Mexico Department of Health is a member of the Rocky Mountain Biomonitoring Consortium. The consortium addresses environmental health problems in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. These states share common environmental characteristics and have extensive histories of mining and federal military operations. Some of these states have the highest levels of arsenic and uranium in drinking water in the nation. This is from naturally occurring deposits and mining/milling and coal-fired power plants operations. These operations may lead to elevated levels of heavy metals in lakes and streams.
The initial study focused on analysis of arsenic and heavy metals in urine, while analytical methods for other chemical exposures of concern were developed.
This project team is comprised of representatives from each member state’s public health lab and a public health expert. The core team consists of chemists, epidemiologists, toxicologist, physicians, and veterinarians, with extensive knowledge of their states’ exposure issues and an interest in using biomonitoring to advance the understanding and improvement of environmental health in this region.