Welcome to the Biomonitoring
Equivalents web site
Biomonitoring is the measurement of trace concentrations of chemicals present in human blood, urine, or other tissues, and is used to indicate human exposure to these chemicals in the environment.
But for most chemicals we do not have the ability to answer a critical question:
Do the measured levels pose a risk to health?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other Agencies use laboratory animal and human health effects data with substantial margins of safety to set exposure guidance values, which are estimates of exposure levels that are likely to be without appreciable risk for the general public. However, these exposure guidance values are presented in terms of a dose or concentration of chemical in air, not in terms of blood or urine levels.
Biomonitoring Equivalents (BEs) were developed to address the need to interpret biomonitoring data in a public health risk assessment context. The BE concept was originated by Summit Toxicology, LLP, and developed through the implementation of the Biomonitoring Equivalents Pilot Project with participation by international experts in risk assessment and risk communication.
Biomonitoring Equivalents are defined as the biomonitoring levels of specific chemicals in blood, urine or other human biological media or tissues that are consistent with existing exposure guidance values.
BE values are screening guidelines to be used by environmental health professionals and are intended for use only as tools to assist in the evaluation of general population or special population biomonitoring data. BEs are not intended to be used for assessing biomonitoring data from individuals or for diagnostic purposes. BEs provide a tool for placing population-based biomonitoring results in a public health risk context. This site provides information and background about biomonitoring equivalents and presents chemical-specific information for those chemicals that have been evaluated using the BE process.