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Applied Uses

Responding to Chemical and Radiological/Nuclear Threats

The possibility of a chemical or radiological/nuclear emergency underscores the need for a reliable way to determine the identity of chemical agents and radionuclides to find out who has been exposed and to what extent. To this end, CDC is using the science of biomonitoring to protect the American public in the event of a chemical or radiological/nuclear emergency.

Chemical Threats

Radiological/Nuclear Threats


Toxins are some of the most deadly chemicals known and represent an ongoing bioterrorism threat. CDC has developed specific and sensitive methods to help diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases caused by toxins and living things that make toxins.


Exposure to Tobacco Smoke and Harmful Substances in Tobacco

Biomonitoring also has been the driving force for assessing people's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), which has been identified as causing cancer in people. Children are at particular risk for harm from ETS, which may aggravate asthma in children who have the disease and greatly increase the risk for bronchitis and pneumonia among young children...more

Emergencies Involving Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

Local, state, and international health officials who handle multiple emergencies involving chemicals have contacted CDC for assistance. When these officials have reliable data about whether people actually are exposed to a particular chemical and how much of a chemical people have been exposed to, they can make timely decisions that protect people's health and prevent any further exposure.

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