The state public health agencies of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah organized the “Four Corners States Biomonitoring Consortium” (4CSBC), to apply combined resources of the public health environmental laboratory and environmental epidemiology programs of the four states and to address persistent environmental health concerns that are common to the four states. The 4CSBC has adopted some of the framework developed by the Rocky Mountain Biomonitoring Consortium (2001-2008), of which all the 4CSBC states were members.

The primary objective of the 4CSBC is to generate science-based information that will lead to relevant public health policy to address several Healthy People 2020 Environmental Health objectives to improve air quality, ensure safe drinking water, reduce pesticide exposure, and reduce exposure to metals including arsenic, cadmium, and mercury.

The 4CSBC plans to use data collected through this biomonitoring project to:

  1. Develop and enhance regional collaboration between the states’ laboratories and environmental epidemiologists to implement biomonitoring activities relevant to state and regional needs;
  2. Develop increased capability and capacity to conduct biomonitoring and exposure risk assessment through the shared regional capacity, experience, and knowledge;
  3. Develop science-based knowledge about environmental exposure that can be used to respond to current relevant public health concerns common to the region;
  4. Empower communities, collaborating action committees, public health policy makers, and state legislatures to develop appropriate and science-based public health policy and programs to mitigate those health concerns; and
  5. Ultimately reduce or eliminate exposure to environmental chemicals by helping at-risk populations assess risks and intervention programs.

The consortium developed three studies to investigate exposure among the state’s shared regional geophysical, cultural, economic, industrial, agricultural, and political environment:

The Private Well Drinking Water and Metals

The Private Well Drinking Water and Metals Contamination Study assess exposure for heavy metals of concern in well water. People who have their own private well for drinking water may be exposed to heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, manganese, mercury, selenium, or uranium. Our objective is to learn more about people's metal exposure from their drinking water.

Exposure to Pesticides and Consumer Products

The Exposure of Four Corners States Residents to Pesticides and Consumer Products Study assesses exposure of herbicides, pesticides, and phthalates common in households in the consortium.

  • Phthalates are a group of related chemicals involved in making plastics and other industrial uses. Because of their increasing prevalence, we would like to know more about the exposure our residents have to phthalates.
  • 2,4-D is a domestic-use herbicide. When we are exposed, our bodies convert it to 2,4-DCP which has been associated with adverse birth outcomes. Since many of the populations of the four corner states have homes with lawns and gardens, where 2,4-D might be used, we would like to learn if this is a potential health hazard.
  • Para-dichlorobenzene (p-DCB) has many uses and is present in disinfectants, deodorants and mothballs. Exposure to p-DCB at high enough levels has been associated with metabolic problems such as obesity, chronic fatigue and possibly sugar metabolism. We would like know the extent of p-DCB exposure in our population.
  • Pyrethroid-containing pesticides are often used around homes, recreational areas, and mosquito breeding areas to control insects and insect-borne diseases. For a small number of people, pyrethroid exposure may have an adverse health effect. We would like to understand the level of pyrethroid exposure that is occurring in our populations.

The San Luis Valley Children’s Study

The San Luis Valley, Colorado Children’s Study assesses exposure of hazardous chemicals in children ages 3 to 13 years old. The 4CSBC provides an extension of the study.

4CSBC core team members at the spring 2017 face-to-face meeting

Last Update: July 17, 2019