National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals

The National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals is a publication that provides an ongoing assessment of the U.S. population's exposure to environmental chemicals using biomonitoring. For this Report, an environmental chemical means a chemical compound or chemical element present in air, water, soil, dust, food, or other environmental media. Biomonitoring is the assessment of human exposure to chemicals by measuring the chemicals or their metabolites in human specimens, such as blood or urine.

The first Edition of the National Report, released in 2001, presented levels for 27 environmental chemicals measured in the U.S. population. These chemicals included metals (e.g., lead, mercury, and uranium), cotinine (a marker of tobacco smoke exposure), organophosphate pesticide metabolites, and phthalate metabolites. The first release of the Report also presented data for the general U.S. population for 1999 from CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Because the sample size in any one year of NHANES was relatively small and for 1999 the survey was conducted in only 12 locations across the country, and because most analyses were conducted in sub-samples of the population, more data will be needed to confirm these findings and to allow more detailed analysis to describe exposure levels in population subgroups. Since the 2001 report, subsequent updates have been made available from the CDC website and include these larger sets of data.


CDC. National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.