Advancing environmental health surveillance in the US through a national human biomonitoring network

Megan Weil Latshaw, Ruhiyyih Degeberg, Surili Sutaria Patel, Blaine Rhodes, Ewa King, Sanwat Chaudhuri, Julianne Nassif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The United States lacks a comprehensive, nationally-coordinated, state-based environmental health surveillance system. This lack of infrastructure leads to: • varying levels of understanding of chemical exposures at the state & local levels • often inefficient public health responses to chemical exposure emergencies (such as those that occurred in the Flint drinking water crisis, the Gold King mine spill, the Elk river spill and the Gulf Coast oil spill) • reduced ability to measure the impact of public health interventions or environmental policies • less efficient use of resources for cleaning up environmental contamination Establishing the National Biomonitoring Network serves as a step toward building a national, state-based environmental health surveillance system. The Network builds upon CDC investments in emergency preparedness and environmental public health tracking, which have created advanced chemical analysis and information sharing capabilities in the state public health systems. The short-term goal of the network is to harmonize approaches to human biomonitoring in the US, thus increasing the comparability of human biomonitoring data across states and communities. The long-term goal is to compile baseline data on exposures at the state level, similar to data found in CDC's National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. Barriers to success for this network include: available resources, effective risk communication strategies, data comparability & sharing, and political will. Anticipated benefits include high quality data on which to base public health and environmental decisions, data with which to assess the success of public health interventions, improved risk assessments for chemicals, and new ways to prioritize environmental health research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomonitoring
  • Chemical exposure
  • Human
  • Laboratory
  • Risk
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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