America's Children and the Environment (ACE)

ACE Biomonitoring

Biomonitoring refers to the measurement of chemicals in human bodies, such as in blood or urine. Measurements of pollutant levels in children's bodies provide information about their exposures to environmental contaminants. Measurements in women who may become pregnant or are currently pregnant or breastfeeding provide information about exposures that may affect their children.

The Biomonitoring section is organized as a series of topics, each topic as a separate page. Each topic is presented separately with Indicator, Background, and Methods navigation tabs. The Indicator tab includes each indicator presented as a figure, followed by a text box describing the characteristics of the data displayed, and bullet points that highlight key data from the indicator. The Background tab includes a discussion of the scope of the issue and a brief snapshot of the relevant scientific literature regarding associations between exposures and health effects. The Methods tab includes a description of the data source and a description of how the indicator is calculated.

The ACE3 biomonitoring section presents information on selected chemicals measured in the bodies of women of child-bearing age and children and addresses the following topics:


A naturally occurring metal used in the productions of fuels, paints, and a variety of other consumer products.

View Lead »


A naturally occurring element used in producing batteries, disinfectants, thermometers, dental amalgam fillings, and a variety of other consumer products. Mercury deposits from these sources can bioaccumulate up the aquatic food chain and be found at high concentrations in some fish.

View Mercury »


A marker of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (or secondhand smoke).

View Cotinine »

Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)

A group of industrial chemicals used as surface coating for packaging products, cookware, carpets, and a variety of other consumer products.

View Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) »

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

A group of industrial chemicals used historically as insulating fluids in capacitors, transformers, and other electrical equipment and as plasticizers in paints and a variety of other consumer products.

View Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) »

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers

A group of industrial chemicals used as flame retardants in furniture, televisions, computers, and a variety of other consumer products.

View Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) »


A group of industrial chemicals used to increase the flexibility of plastics in a wide array of consumer products.

View Phthalates »

Bisphenol A (BPA)

An industrial chemical used in the production of plastics and found in a variety of consumer products, most notably food and drink containers.

View Bisphenol A (BPA) »


A naturally occurring and man-made chemical used to manufacture fireworks, explosives, flares, and rocket fuel.

View Perchlorate »