|About the Book|
The Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, 2009 (the Report) provides an ongoing assessment of the exposure of the U.S. population to environmental chemicals by the use of biomonitoring. The Report is cumulativeMoreThe Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, 2009 (the Report) provides an ongoing assessment of the exposure of the U.S. population to environmental chemicals by the use of biomonitoring. The Report is cumulative (containing all the results from previous Reports) and provides new data for years 2003- 2004. Data for 75 new environmental chemicals are included for the survey period 2003-2004. In each survey period, most chemicals or their metabolites were measured in blood, serum, and urine samples from random subsamples of about 2500 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDCs) National Center for Health Statistics. NHANES is a series of surveys designed to collect data related to the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population. The blood, serum, and urine exposure measurements presented in the Report were made by CDCs Environmental Health Laboratory (Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health) using mass spectrometry methods. The term environmental chemical refers to a chemical compound or chemical element present in air, water, food, soil, dust, or other environmental media (e.g., consumer products). Biomonitoring is the assessment of human exposure to chemicals by measuring the chemicals or their metabolites in such human specimens as blood or urine. A metabolite is a chemical alteration of the original compound produced by body tissues. Blood, serum, and urine levels reflect the amount of a chemical that actually gets into the body by all routes of exposure, including ingestion, inhalation, and dermal absorption. The measurement of an environmental chemical in a persons blood or urine is an indication of exposure- it does not by itself mean that the chemical causes disease or an adverse effect. Research studies, separate from these data, are required to determine which blood or urine levels are safe and which are associated with disease or an adverse effect. For blood, serum, and urine levels, the Report provides geometric means and percentiles of environmental chemicals by age group, gender and race/ethnicity. More in-depth statistical analysis, including multivariate analysis incorporating health endpoints and other predictive variables, is beyond the scope of this document. The overall purpose of the Report is to provide unique exposure information to scientists, physicians, and health officials to help prevent exposure to some environmental chemicals. Specific public health uses of the exposure information in the Report are: To determine which chemicals get into Americans and at what concentrations- For chemicals with a known toxicity level, to determine the prevalence of people with levels above those toxicity levels- To establish reference values that can be used by physicians and scientists to determine whether a person or group has an unusually high exposure. This information is especially helpful to identify population groups that merit further assessment of exposure sources or health effects- To assess the effectiveness of public health efforts to reduce exposure of Americans to specific chemicals- To determine whether exposure levels are higher among such potentially vulnerable groups as minorities and children- To track, over time, trends in levels of exposure of the population- To set priorities for research on human health effects.