Canadian Environmental Health Atlas

Understanding Our Environment is Key to Promoting Health and Preventing Disease

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Studies Using Biomarkers

Studies Using Biomarkers

Two Studies Using Biomarkers
The Canadian Health Measurements Survey (CHMS) is an initiative of Statistics Canada in partnership with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. The survey was developed to address important data gaps  in exposures and health information by collecting directly measured indicators of health from a representative sample of over 5000 Canadians.1 The information provides a national baseline for understanding a variety of health concerns and includes data from environmental biomarkers detected in blood and urine samples (Figure 1).2

The Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) study is a national 5-year study conducted by scientists at Health Canada and their academic and clinical research collaborators. It complements the Canadian Health Measurements Survey (CHMS) by focusing on a particular sub-population—pregnant women and their infants—to compare levels of exposure to environmental contaminants. The three main objectives of the study are to (1) measure the extent to which pregnant women and their infants are exposed to environmental contaminants; (2) collect and measure some of the beneficial elements in human breast milk; (3) assess what health risks, if any, are associated with the levels of chemicals measured.3