California Department of Public Health logo: three likenesses of people colored blue, green, and orange  
Last Edited: 11/13/2013


Biomonitoring is the assessment of exposure to toxic substances in people by laboratory measurement of these substances (or their metabolites) in human specimens such as blood, urine, or saliva. It can be used to establish the body burden or internal dose of specific environmental contaminants through all routes of exposure. Population-based biomonitoring, in combination with environmental monitoring (e.g., of air, dust, water, food, or soil), can provide detailed information about differences in exposures across geography, race/ethnicity, and socio-economic status. Biological monitoring can also illuminate the relationships between genetic predispositions or sensitivities and disease outcomes.

Biomonitoring California

The purpose of the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program, also called Biomonitoring California, is to:

1.    Determine levels of environmental chemicals in a representative sample of Californians.

2.    Establish trends in the levels of these chemicals over time.

3.    Help assess the effectiveness of public health efforts and regulatory programs to decrease exposures to specific chemicals.

For more information about Biomonitoring California, please visit our website at:

About Biomonitoring California

The California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program was established by Senate Bill 1379, authored by Senator Don Perata and Senator Deborah Ortiz, which was passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2006.

Biomonitoring California is a collaborative effort of three departments in two State agencies:

·         The California Department of Public Health (CDPH, in the Health and Human Services Agency. CDPH is the lead department for Biomonitoring California.

·         California Environmental Protection Agency’s (Cal/EPA’s) Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA, and Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC,

Biomonitoring California acknowledges crucial support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000481) from 2009 to 2014.

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program of EHIB has also undertaken biomonitoring activities and is interested in examining exposure to contaminants in communities that have the potential to be highly exposed


Fact Sheets

  • Pesticide Exposure in Women of Imperial County  --  EHIB and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study of women living in Imperial County called Pesticide Exposure in Women of Reproductive Age: A U.S.-Mexico Border Study....




Related Projects

  • California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP)  --  California Environmental Health Tracking Program Improving Public Health With Better Information air quality asthma birth defectsbreast cancer mapping cancer carbon monoxide poisoning climate...

  • Dioxins in California  -- Since 1987, the California Department of Health Services has been investigating dioxin contamination in California....

  • Indoor Air Quality in Saugus Schools  -- EHIB and EHLB IAQ staff provided technical asssitance and risk communication consultation to the Saugus Unified School District in Los Angeles County regarding classroom indoor air quality concerns.

  • Urinary Pesticide Metabolites Study  -- From 2001 to 2003, EHIB collected urine samples from women of reproductive age living in Imperial County and analyzed these samples for pesticides....


Related Links

  • Environmental Health Laboratory Branch  -- EHLB is a close partner of EHIB and is another branch within the Division of Environmental & Occupational Disease Control. Their mission is to provide public health leadership in the development of laboratory measurements and information for the assessment, control, and prevention of indoor and outdoor air pollution, and human exposure to toxic chemicals.