Colorado Biomonitoring Program

For the Colorado component of the 4CSBC project, the Laboratory Services at the Colorado Department of Health and Environment teamed up with researchers at the University of Colorado School of Public Health to expand on an existing project looking at hazardous chemical exposures that children living the San Luis Valley experience.

The San Luis Valley is considered to be the cultural cradle of Colorado. The valley was among the first in Colorado to be settled. Through time, the valley has come to offer many historical, cultural and recreational activities. The valley has experienced mining booms and an extensive agricultural land use.

As a result of this legacy, there are environemntal exposure concerns for the residents of the valley, and particularly for the children living in the valley. To better understand and respond to these concerns the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, and the University of Colorado are testing children for exposure to some of the hazardous chemicals that they may be exposed to.

The Study: Researchers at the University of Colorado and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are conducting a study to learn about the possible exposure among children to some metals and chemicals in the Four Corners States region. The primary objective of the consortium is to generate science-based information that will lead to relevant public health policy to address Healthy People 2020 environmental health objectives to reduce pediatric exposures to common household products and metals including arsenic, cadmium and mercury.

Who can participate? Parents and children who are 3 to 13 years old who have well water supply in their home. Participation is voluntary and all water and urine testing is free, there is no cost for participating.

What are we measuring? There are many environmental sources of exposure to metals and chemicals, including drinking water, soil, dust, plastics, and common household and beauty products. When you are exposed to chemicals, your body releases the chemical metabolites into your urine.

What will we do with this information? Your results along with the results of all the other participants in the study will help us understand the extent that children in rural Colorado may be exposed to these chemicals. All data collected is strictly confidential and will be deidentified. No personal or medical information will be collected and all information will be destroyed at the end of the study.

What information will we collect? We will ask parents to answer a 15 minute questionnaire about potential source of exposure and will not be collecting any health or personal information.

Benefits to the community: This study will be the first to determine the extent of exposure to common environmental exposures in children in the SLV. Benefits to the individual include a free analysis of individual level exposure to common environmental toxicants through urine and well water testing for metals with explanation of results. Benefits to the community, include characterization of the spectrum exposures in children which can aid in resource allocation, decision making, and provide answers to community members about environmental toxicants.

If you are interested in participating, please contact:

Andrea Romero, Valley Wide Health Systems at (719) 589-5161 to schedule an appointment at a Valley Wide Clinic near you, or

Dr. Kathy James, University of Colorado at (303) 724-8169.


Page created: August 23, 2016