iStock_000010346451_LargesmEvery day we are exposed to a variety of chemicals in the environment through breathing, eating, and drinking. Some chemicals can even be absorbed through the skin. Similar to lab tests performed at your doctor’s office,

biomonitoring is a specific type of test to measure chemicals in a person’s bodily fluids or tissues . Learning about the levels of chemicals present in the body can help individuals identify exposures they may want to reduce.

CDC awarded our department along with the state health departments of New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah the Four Corners States Biomonitoring grant. The funds support biomonitoring of four groups of chemicals that are of concern to residents in the four corner states, including heavy metals (such as arsenic), weed killers, disinfectants, phthalates (found in plastics), and insecticides. For a full list of chemicals being tested, visit our Biomonitoring website.

We will test urine samples from participants for one of the chemical groups of interest, and report the individual results back to the participant who provided the urine sample. We’ll also compile non-identifiable information to help identify problem areas. Because of the grant, we can provide free testing through 2019. For more information on how to sign-up for biomonitoring testing, visit our Biomonitoring website or email biomonitoring@azdhs.gov.