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Biomonitoring Program Activities

Chemical Threat Agents

Chemical threat agents can be poisonous vapors, aerosols, liquids or solids that have toxic effects on people. These chemicals can be naturally occurring in the environment or synthetically produced.


Environmental Chemicals

Environmental chemicals refer to a chemical compound or chemical element present in air, water, food, soil, dust, or other environmental media such as consumer products.


Nutritional Indicators

In biomonitoring, nutritional indicator refers to vitamins, iron-status indicators, trace elements or other dietary indicators with potential health relevance.


State Biomonitoring Grants

CDC’s Division of Laboratory Sciences provides funding and support to these states by training laboratory staff on analytical methods, data processing, and sample management. CDC program staff also provide technical support to state public health laboratories and conduct site visits. Funded state biomonitoring programs and CDC staff meet annually to share best practices and address broad technical issues.



Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemical components, and at least 250 of these chemicals are harmful to human health. By looking at all aspects of tobacco use and exposure, scientists in the Tobacco Laboratory are able to obtain a more accurate understanding of how smokers, non-smokers (through secondhand smoke), and smokeless tobacco users are exposed to harmful chemicals.



CDC has developed specific and sensitive methods to help diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases caused by toxins. Toxins from bacteria, fungi, algae, and plants are some of the most deadly chemicals known and represent an ongoing public health threat.