SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. (WENY) -- The New York State Department of Health is inviting New York residents from the Southern Tier and Central New York to find out if they have chemicals inside their bodies.  

The department is randomly selecting 500 people to learn about the level of PFAS chemicals, pesticides, and metals in our bodies through a biomonitoring survey. The biomonitoring study seeks 2,000 people across the state, outside of New York City. 1,100 people have already been enrolled. 

If someone is eligible and chosen to sign up, they will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and give the department a blood and urine sample. 

Dr. Patrick Parsons, PHD, the Director of the Division of Environmental Health Sciences Director and Laboratory of Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry Chief at the New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center, said scientists want to measure what kinds of chemicals get inside human bodies, and compare the data with other states across the country. 

This is the fifth year of the study that is being funded by a 4.5-million-dollar grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

“It helps us set a baseline across the state so we can compare New Yorkers with the national population,” Dr. Parsons said. “It’s a part of, what we might call, a ‘health nutrition examination survey.’ These are surveys done across the country. We’re one of several states that receives funding from the C.D.C. and we’re excited to learn about what these background exposures look like in New Yorkers.”  

Everyone is exposed to chemicals and Dr. Parsons said we cannot avoid them because they are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. The biomonitoring survey helps scientists see if people are being exposed to safe levels of these chemicals. 

If you are asked to complete this project, you will get free, confidential results and a $75 gift card.