Using biological monitoring to assess human exposure to priority toxicants

J. L. Pirkle, E. J. Sampson, L. L. Needham, D. G. Patterson, D. L. Ashley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Scientifically valid exposure assessment is crucial to risk assessment, risk management, and prevention of environmental disease. Scientists have used three tools to assess exposure: exposure history/questionnaires, environmental monitoring (including personal monitoring), and biological monitoring. Combinations of these tools usually provide the exposure information needed to meet objectives of human studies evaluating the exposure-health effect relationship. Biological monitoring is a capable exposure assessment tool that has provided important information used in public health decisions. We briefly describe how risk assessment and risk management decisions for lead, dioxin, and volatile organic compounds have substantially benefited from exposure information obtained from biological monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-48
Number of pages4
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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