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Project Details

Chemicals in our Bodies

Young parents with Baby
Project Summary: 

Health Research for Action (HRA) developed model materials for reporting biomonitoring results to pregnant women. Through a collaboration between UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), pregnant women and their newborn infants are being tested for more than 100 chemicals in blood and urine. Using best practices in health literacy, HRA adapted report-back materials developed by UC Berkeley, Brown University, and the Silent Spring Institute. These materials present participant results along with information about possible sources of exposure and ways to avoid exposure. We conducted usability tests of the materials with English- and Spanish-speaking women, and further modified the materials to make them easier to read and use.

Policy, Practice or Research Impacts: 

Little is known about exposures to chemicals during pregnancy, a particularly vulnerable period of development. This project will provide unprecedented data on environmental contaminants in women and babies. But communicating biomonitoring results to participants is challenging, and there are few models for presenting complex information in a way that the general public can understand. The model materials are being used in other biomonitoring pilot projects, with a goal of producing a standard results reporting format that can be used in California’s statewide biomonitoring program.

Contact Person: 
Holly Brown- Williams
Contact Person's Email Address:
Health Research for Action, UC Berkeley
California Wellness Foundation and the CDC