The U.S. National Biomonitoring Network – Enhancing Capability and Capacity to Assess Human Chemical Exposures
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The U.S. National Biomonitoring Network – Enhancing Capability and Capacity to Assess Human Chemical Exposures

Public Access Version Available on: August 25, 2022, 12:00 AM
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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Int J Hyg Environ Health
    • Description:
      Background: With the increased use of biomonitoring in public health, biomonitoring networks are forming worldwide. The National Biomonitoring Network (NBN), created in 2018, is an interconnected system of U.S. government laboratories in collaboration with public health partners, to advance human biomonitoring science and practice. The NBN aims to harmonize biomonitoring data for use in routine public health practice. Methods: The NBN has taken a systems approach to provide high-quality biomonitoring data by establishing quality standards, mentoring nascent programs, and enhancing analytical capability and capacity through technical assistance. Guided by a multi-disciplinary Network Steering Committee (NSC), the NBN has developed an organizational framework, membership criteria, and guidance practices related to study design, quality management and analytical measurements. To facilitate the production of these resources, the NSC established interdisciplinary workgroups of subject matter experts. Results: To date, 20 state public health laboratories have joined the NBN. Differences in land-use practices, state and local laws and availability of resources resulted in considerable variability in the design and approach of NBN member biomonitoring programs. By contributing technical guidance, technical training, examples and templates for analytical and epidemiological practices and opportunities for collaboration and interaction, the NBN addressed some of these challenges. Important challenges remaining are to define minimum data variables for laboratory measurements, demographic and exposure information, and to identify an appropriate national repository for biomonitoring data. Conclusion: The current NBN membership has greatly benefited from the resources, collaboration and engagement with other state and federal scientists. The NBN hopes to expand membership and increase interaction with biomonitoring networks internationally. While the objectives of biomonitoring networks around the world may differ, understanding their structures, advantages and limitations inform the NBN and provide opportunity for cross-network collaboration.
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