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Environ Health Perspect. 2005 Aug;113(8):1083-91.

Biologic monitoring of exposure to environmental chemicals throughout the life stages: requirements and issues for consideration for the National Children's Study.

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National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Biomonitoring of exposure is a useful tool for assessing environmental exposures. The matrices available for analyses include blood, urine, breast milk, adipose tissue, and saliva, among others. The sampling can be staged to represent the particular time period of concern: preconceptionally from both parents, from a pregnant woman during each of the three trimesters, during and immediately after childbirth, from the mother postnatally, and from the child as it develops to 21 years of age. The appropriate sample for biomonitoring will depend upon matrix availability, the time period of concern for a particular exposure or health effect, and the different classes of environmental chemicals to be monitored. This article describes the matrices available for biomonitoring during the life stages being evaluated in the National Children's Study; the best biologic matrices for exposure assessment for each individual chemical class, including consideration of alternative matrices; the analytical methods used for analysis, including quality control procedures and less costly alternatives; the costs of analysis; optimal storage conditions; and chemical and matrix stability during long-term storage.

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