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Human Biomonitoring

Biomonitoring is the measurement of chemicals in tissues or bodily fluids. While this data provides regulatory and public health officials with information regarding human chemical exposure it cannot reveal how (inhalation, water, ingestion, etc) or where the exposure occurred.

Background

Without context, biomontioring data can be misconstrued. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has stated: "Just because people have an environmental chemical in their blood or urine does not mean that the chemical causes disease. The toxicity of a chemical is related to its dose or concentration. Small amounts may be of no health consequence, whereas larger amounts may cause disease.”


CropLife America's Position

  • The presence of a chemical in the human body is not necessarily cause for alarm or concern, and this information alone does not help to inform individual health risk.
  • Human health risk resulting from the presence of a particular chemical is determined by both hazard (the intrinsic properties of the chemical, including toxicity) and exposure (amount, frequency, and length of exposure to the chemical).
  • The presence of a chemical found in biomonitoring data does not necessarily indicate a health threat.
  • It is essential to understand the varying levels at which chemicals are found in the environment (i.e. exposure point concentration) and the level at which adverse health effects occur in humans by these chemicals (i.e. toxicity) before an assessment of risk can be made.
     
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