Biomonitoring in Washington State

Washington Biomonitoring Fact Sheet - Summary of Activities and Findings (PDF)

Survey of Residents of Subsidized Housing in King County

From May 2013 to April 2014 WEBS staff collected urine samples from 585 people living in subsidized housing in King County. The purpose of this study was to measure and better understand exposures to pyrethroid pesticides and plastics-related compounds (bisphenol A and phthalates) among residents of subsidized housing. We will compare results with state and U.S. levels and plan to use survey findings to help reduce these chemicals in people. Study information

Pyrethroid Exposure Survey and Testing (PEST) Study

From May through October 2012, WEBS staff invited pest management professionals in western Washington to participate in the PEST study. The purpose was to learn how work practices affect their exposures. Licensed pesticide applicators from King, Pierce, Snohomish, Clark or Thurston counties who used pyrethroid products at work were eligible. Fifty-six participants completed a questionnaire and gave urine samples after a work day of applying pyrethroid pesticides. Results will be used to improve continuing education for these professionals. Study information and results

High Arsenic Area Study: South Whidbey Island

Arsenic is normally found in water, soil and air. In some areas of the state, natural underground deposits of arsenic cause contamination of drinking water wells. South Whidbey Island is one area of the state known to have high, naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater.

From July through September 2011, WEBS staff collected urine and drinking water samples from residents on private wells or small water systems (less than 15 connections). Tap water was pre-screened for arsenic with a field test kit. Households with arsenic at or above EPA's drinking water standard were invited to participate. A total of 172 residents from 82 households participated in this study. Study information and results

Statewide General Population Study

From May 2010 through June 2011, Washington Environmental Biomonitoring Survey (WEBS) staff collected 1,422 urine samples from a statewide representative sample of Washington residents age six and older. Urine samples were analyzed at the Washington State Department of Health Public Health Laboratories for total and speciated arsenic, 12 metals, and pyrethroid and organophosphate pesticide metabolites. They are also testing a subset of samples for bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. WEBS staff compared survey levels with nationals levels found by CDC. Study information and results

For more information, please contact Blaine Rhodes, Principal Investigator