Antonia Calafat – US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

A Look at Chemical Exposures in the USA: The Human Biomonitoring Program within the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) – 27 April – 3:50 pm CEST

General population biomonitoring programs, including nation-wide initiatives, can provide the most comprehensive assessment of populations’ exposure to select environmental chemicals. In the United States, a national biomonitoring program exists within the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Since 1999, NHANES collects data on the health and nutritional status of the U.S. general population and has provided the most comprehensive biomonitoring assessment of Americans’ exposures to select chemicals. NHANES biomonitoring data have been used to: a) establish reference ranges, b) provide exposure information for risk assessment (e.g., set research priorities, evaluate effectiveness of public health measures), and c) monitor exposure trends. Because of the global use of chemicals in consumers and industrial markets, availability of biomonitoring data from NHANES and other national programs may inform international regulatory and public health actions, and facilitate identification of emerging global exposure trends.


Dr. Antonia Calafat is the Chief of the Organic Analytical Toxicology Branch, Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. She leads CDC’s biomonitoring programs for assessing human exposure to chemicals added to consumer and personal-care products such as phthalates and phenols; flame retardants; pesticides; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; and persistent organic pollutants including polybrominated diphenyl ethers; polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, furans, and biphenyls; and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

She has developed and maintained extensive collaborative research with leading scientists in the fields of exposure science, epidemiology, toxicology and health assessment, and has published over 580 peer-reviewed articles. Her research has made important contributions to biomonitoring science, including CDC’s National Reports on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.

Throughout her career, Dr. Calafat has served on numerous advisory committees and scientific panels. In 2019, she received the Excellence in Exposure Science Award given by the International Society of Exposure Science. Since 2017, she is the co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health.

Dr. Calafat earned her PhD in Chemistry in 1989 from the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the Department of Chemistry of Emory University where she completed her postdoctoral training. She joined CDC in 1996.


The HBM4EU project was launched in 2016 with the aim of improving the collective understanding of human exposure to hazardous chemicals and developing HBM as an exposure assessment method. The project had €74m in funding and jointly implemented by 120 partners from 28 participating countries – 24 EU member states plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Israel and the European Environment Agency. One of its aims was to ensure the sustainability of HBM in the EU beyond 2021. The project ended in June 2022. The website will not be updated any longer, except the page on peer reviewed publications, but will be online until 2032.