The Iowa State Hygienic Laboratory proposes to establish an Iowa statewide biomonitoring surveillance program to assess rural population exposure in three environmental hazard categories: naturally occurring contaminants (metals), agricultural chemicals (neonicotinoid insecticides), and industrial chemicals (endocrine disrupters). As part of the biomonitoring surveillance, the laboratory will also target an “at risk” population study to determine exposure risks in pregnant women. The plan also includes the addition of a high-resolution mass spectrometry into our instrument portfolio to enable screening and retrospective exposure studies. The proposed studies will be surveillance-based and will not include research components. The three-fold purpose of this program will be to: 1) Enhance laboratory capacity and collaborations to perform biomonitoring analyses, and to increase laboratory service coverage across the state. 2) Extend the CDC national study scope to Iowa, develop an Iowa-specific output database, establish the background level characterization of the Iowa rural population exposure and compare that to CDC reports. 3) Communicate and educate exposure risks, promote biomonitoring awareness, implement protective measures, and support informed policy development.
The proposal is built upon strong collaborations between the laboratory, Iowa Department of Public Health, Local Departments of Public Health, Iowa Poison Control Center, University of Iowa College of Public Health, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, and the Department of Justice Criminal Investigation Laboratory. The proposed statewide biomonitoring program will be built on the current Iowa statewide environmental monitoring infrastructure with a sustainable future. The targeted biomonitoring study in pregnant women is a collaboration with the existing biobank program in the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. Currently the laboratory is working with more than 50 Iowa counties (Iowa has 99 counties) on environmental assessment, collecting and analyzing private well samples, and reporting the analytical results to state agencies, local public health departments. The local health professionals communicate with residents to manage the health risk and support risk mitigation. The expanded biomonitoring program will enhance the laboratory and local public health department’s capacity, provide accurate and high quality data to support risk assessment and decision making at the state and local levels. The expanded program will leverage the CDC resources and provide training to the laboratory staff members and local public health professionals.