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The BCERF program on the Cancer Risks of Environmental Chemicals in the Home and Workplace closed on March 31, 2010. No further updates will be made to this web site. Please go Cornell University’s eCommons web site to access BCERF’s archived research and educational materials (

Biomonitoring and Environmental Monitoring
Frequently Asked Questions

dot Question

Is water testing related to environmental monitoring?

dot Answer

Water testing or monitoring is one type of environmental monitoring. Environmental monitoring and biomonitoring are linked because both are ways to measure exposure to chemicals.
Biomonitoring tests human tissues to discover what is inside the human body. Environmental monitoring is a way to test for outside or external exposures to chemicals. The samples that are tested in environmental monitoring include water, food, and soil. Some of the same advances that are making biomonitoring easier and less expensive are having the same effect on water monitoring and other types of environmental monitoring. If biomonitoring shows an exposure in humans, environmental monitoring to determine where and how the exposure occurred can be an important additional step.

Answered by: Suzanne Snedeker, Ph.D.

Last Reviewed: 10.19.05

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