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Biomonitoring Indicators

Data about human exposure to environmental chemicals come from CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) as presented in CDC's National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. NHANES is an ongoing, complex survey that samples the U.S population. It collects different types of information to provide an assessment of the population's overall health and nutrition.

The biomonitoring indicator below provides information about 11 environmental chemicals or their metabolites found in human urine or blood. These include the following:

  • Arsenic
  • Benzene
  • Cadmium
  • Chloroform
  • Cotinine
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Naphthalene
  • Pyrene
  • Toluene
  • Uranium

Read more about the environmental chemicals.

These environmental chemicals were selected for one or more of the following reasons:

  • At least half of the U.S. population has enough of the specific chemical in their blood or urine to measure.
  • They have widespread environmental sources of exposure.
  • The data are related to other data on CDC's Tracking Network or other environmental data sources such as drinking water or air quality data.
  • We can likely reduce exposures to these chemicals through changes in policy, regulations, or personal behaviors.
Levels of Environmental Chemicals in Urine and Blood

This indicator shows concentrations of 11 different environmental chemicals in urine or blood. These data tell you what levels of those environmental chemicals are found in urine and blood samples from people who are typical examples of the U.S. population. These data are available for the United States as a whole, not by county, state, or region. They do not provide information about specific sources of exposure, exposure pathways, or health effects from exposure.

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