Biomarkers are potentially useful tools for occupational health and safety research, practice, and policy. However, the full realization of this potential has not been achieved. In this paper, the progress made in these three usage areas is reviewed to identify what efforts can be taken to realize the full promise of biomarkers. Biomarker uses are described by a diverse taxonomy that builds on the categories of exposure, effect and susceptibility, and the continuum between exposure and disease prognosis. The most significant uses of biomarkers in occupational health have been in biological monitoring of workers. Other important uses have been in enhancing research and assessing mechanisms of action of occupational toxicants at low exposures. Seven critical areas will influence the extent to which the potential of biomarkers in occupational health and safety is realized. These include: (1) adequate investment in validation; (2) obtaining international agreement on exposure guidelines; (3) exploring the utility of biomarkers in regulation; (4) applying biomarkers to critical occupational safety and health questions; (5) developing the exposome; (6) utilizing biomarkers to address emerging occupational health issues; and (7) continuing to address the ethical and social justice issues related to biomarkers. Overall, if biomarkers are to make a major contribution to occupational health and safety then a more holistic approach to bringing them from the laboratory to practice will be needed.
We take your privacy seriously. You can review and change the way we collect information below.
These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
Cookies used to make website functionality more relevant to you. These cookies perform functions like remembering presentation options or choices and, in some cases, delivery of web content that based on self-identified area of interests.
Cookies used to track the effectiveness of CDC public health campaigns through clickthrough data.
Cookies used to enable you to share pages and content that you find interesting on CDC.gov through third party social networking and other websites. These cookies may also be used for advertising purposes by these third parties.