NH DHHS

CONCORD — New Hampshire health officials announced Monday the state has been awarded a $5 million federal grant to analyze efforts to reduce blood-lead levels in children and identify impacts from flooding on people’s health, as well as other projects.

The $5,162,497 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant will allow New Hampshire’s Public Health Laboratories (PHL) to enhance the state’s biomonitoring program. Biomonitoring is the direct measurement of environmental chemicals in people’s blood and urine, indicating the amount of chemicals that actually enters the body from all environmental sources.

The CDC grant will enhance the PHL’s ability to determine whether residents have been exposed to certain contaminants, which will help identify at-risk population groups and assess the needs of those groups.

“To be one of only six states to receive this comprehensive grant is a confirmation of capabilities of our laboratorians to help people in the Granite State,” said Dr. Christine Bean, Director of the New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories. “This grant allows the Biomonitoring program to continue our work in an effort to understand the relationship between human health and exposure to environmental contaminants. We thank the CDC for the opportunity.”

According to Bean, NH PHL will work with the Healthy Homes Lead Program to work with families of children that present with elevated blood lead levels and follow up two years later to see if interventions have reduced the level of lead in their blood.

The final project will include follow up analysis of this year’s NH Tracking and Assessment of Chemical Exposures Study (2019 NH TrACE), a statewide look at different metals, pesticides, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and other chemicals such as tobacco smoke in Granite State residents.

In 2024, five years after the first assessment, an additional study will determine if reductions in the contamination levels have occurred after preventative intervention (2024 NH TrACE), and will include additional contaminants of concern (VOCs, PAHs, mercury).

BiomonitoringNH will use the funding to conduct both targeted and surveillance investigations, and purchase laboratory equipment and supplies.

Monday, January 20, 2020