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America's Children and the Environment (ACE)

ACE3 Draft Indicators: Biomonitoring

The following information was provided by EPA in conjunction with the opportunity for public comment on the draft indicators for ACE3, which ran from March 8 – April 21, 2011. The public comment period is now closed.

Biomonitoring is the measurement of chemicals in human body fluids and tissues, such as blood, urine, breast milk, saliva, and hair. By obtaining measurements of pollutants in children, biomonitoring can be used to evaluate children’s exposure to environmental contaminants. Determining the levels of pollutants in women who may become pregnant, currently are pregnant, or currently are breastfeeding can be used to evaluate exposure to developing fetuses and infants.

The draft indicators for America’s Children and the Environment, Third Edition (ACE3) include biomonitoring indicators that were developed using data collected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ACE3 biomonitoring indicators summarize NHANES biomonitoring measurements in children and women of child-bearing age for a number of chemicals that are important to children’s environmental health.

A separate draft document is available for each ACE3 biomonitoring topic. Each document includes an introduction describing the importance of the topic to children’s environmental health. The document also includes a section describing how the indicators were calculated using biomonitoring data from NHANES. Data for each indicator are presented in a graph. The graphs present the median values (50th percentile) for all topics and, in some cases, the 95th percentile values. These values are meant to represent typical and high end exposures, respectively. Many of the biomonitoring indicators present time series data. Where data over time are unavailable, the indicators present comparisons across demographic groups using the most current data available. Beneath each figure are explanatory bullet points highlighting key findings. Following the indicator figures and bullet points, each document provides data tables, references, metadata, and details of how the indicators were calculated.

Detailed background on the ACE3 biomonitoring indicators

THIS INFORMATION IS DISTRIBUTED SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PRE-DISSEMINATION PEER REVIEW UNDER APPLICABLE INFORMATION QUALITY GUIDELINES. IT HAS NOT BEEN FORMALLY DISSEMINATED BY EPA. IT DOES NOT REPRESENT AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED TO REPRESENT ANY AGENCY DETERMINATION OR POLICY.

The ACE3 biomonitoring indicators address the following topics:

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