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Focusing on Biomonitoring's Ups and Downs

Tue, 09/05/2006 - 6:38am

The America Chemistry Council (ACC) has welcomed the latest report from a top U.S. scientific committee on biomonitoring. Members of the National Academies of Sciences Committee on Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Toxicants were cautious in their approach, noting the opportunities for better health protection that biomonitoring might afford but quick to point to the challenges that the use of biomonitoring presents. The committee laid out a lengthy road map of recommendations that will no doubt be important when it comes to guiding policy makers and others through the potential maze that biomonitoring data present. "We believe the NAS report provides a very useful benchmark for future as well as current research efforts," said Richard Becker, senior toxicologist with the ACC. He noted in particular that the report emphasises the need to use rigorous scientific methods for sampling, evaluating and reporting biomonitoring data. Just because we can detect something does not necessarily mean that it is bad. As all chemists understand, it is the dose that makes the poison. Getting that message across in a realistic way is the challenge facing the chemicals sector.

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