New Studies

Working Women Biomonitoring Collaborative

This project will allow us to extend the Women Firefighters Biomonitoring Collaborative in two keys ways.

First, we will be able to collect blood and urine samples from women who participated in our earlier study immediately after they participate in a fire event. Then, we’ll take additional samples from the same women one week and one month after that fire event. This will help characterize exposures immediately after a fire, and how those exposures change over time.

The new study will also enable us to add a cohort of nurses to the study. We’ll be collecting samples from approximately 60 nurses, in order to better understand the exposures of women in different occupations. As part of this study, we’ll also collect samples from additional office workers, so that we can compare changes in routine exposures between the earlier study and the current study.

Wine Country Firefighter Biomonitoring

Over the course of three weeks, more than 150,000 acres and 8,900 structures burned in the large Wine Country fires in Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties. The vast size of these fires, as well as their proximity to cities and towns, led to unprecedented loss of life and property, poor air quality through much of the greater Bay Area, and long exposures for those fighting the fires.

Fire departments from all over the greater Bay Area sent strike teams to help fight the fires and protect people and property. Many worked for hours and days on end without rest or reprieve from the air quality. This presents a unique opportunity to understand fire exposures among firefighters of the region.

To understand the exposures faced by firefighters working these fires, researchers plan to collect blood and urine samples from up to 250 male and female Bay Area firefighters who fought these fires. In addition, they will conduct a short interview, including questions specific to each firefighter’s role fighting the fires, including duration of fighting the Wine Country fires, activities there, and other fire events after returning home.