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Iowa: State Hygienic Lab Receives CDC Funding for New Statewide Biomonitoring Program

A new project led by the Iowa State Hygienic Lab will analyze the presence of environmental hazards in well water and households across the state.

The award, which includes $728,016 in funding for the first year of the project, is one of six projects funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for statewide biomonitoring programs.

Biomonitoring is the direct measurement of environmental chemicals in people’s blood and urine, indicating the amount of chemical that actually enters the body from all environmental sources. Iowa’s new biomonitoring program will examine three hazard categories: naturally occurring contaminants, agricultural chemicals, and industrial chemicals.

“Biomonitoring data can inform important public health decisions,” said Dr. Susie Dai, environmental lab director at the State Hygienic Lab. “By launching a new statewide biomonitoring program, we will be better positioned to access exposures of concern in Iowa communities and identify at-risk populations.”

“The expanded biomonitoring program in Iowa will enable the State Hygienic Laboratory and the local public health departments to provide accurate and high-quality data that can inform state and local decision-makers,” said Dr. Michael Pentella, director of the State Hygienic Laboratory. “The funds will also be used to provide important training to laboratory staff members and local public health professionals.”

The project is a collaboration between the State Hygienic Lab with the Iowa Department of Public Health, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, University of Iowa College of Public Health, Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination, Iowa Poison Center, Iowa Criminal Investigation Lab, and ten local health departments.

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