August 16, 2010

from Health Canada website, August 16, 2010

OTTAWA – Today, Health Canada released its Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada. This technical report provides the results of the biomonitoring component from the first cycle of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS). It represents the first-ever comprehensive set of data on the exposure of the Canadian population to environmental chemicals.

"Biomonitoring initiatives, such as theCanadian Health Measures Survey, are an important component of the Government of Canada's actions to protect the health of Canadians," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "Future surveys will build on the information collected and enable Health Canada scientists to better assess whether Canadians' exposure to environmental chemicals is changing.

" Overall, results for the majority of the substances measured are comparable to other biomonitoring studies that have been carried out internationally or in Canada.

The CHMS, led by Statistics Canada in partnership with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, is a national survey which collects information relevant to the health of Canadians through home interviews and direct physical measurements. The survey provides information on chronic and infectious disease, physical fitness, nutrition, and other factors that influence health. The biomonitoring component of the CHMS involves the collection and analysis of blood and urine samples to measure concentrations of certain environmental chemicals.

"The national biomonitoring data will be used as a starting point for future monitoring and research," said Dr. Paul Gully, Health Canada's Special Medical Advisor. "It will improve our understanding of chemical exposure in people and help with the development of policies to protect the health of Canadians."

Cycle 1 of the CHMS was conducted between 2007 and 2009, and includes a nationally representative sample of approximately 5,600 Canadians aged 6 to 79 years. This is an ongoing survey – Cycle 2 (2009-2011) is currently being implemented, and planning for Cycle 3 (2012-2014) is underway.

For more information on the CHMS, please visit the following websites:

For more information on how the Government of Canada manages chemicals, please visit the Chemicals Substances website.

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Media Enquiries:

Jenny Van Alstyne Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq Federal Minister of Health (613) 957-0200

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