Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, released the following statements regarding a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) showing that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should increase its ability to protect public health by expanding its assessment of toxic chemical exposures through the use of biomonitoring.

Biomonitoring involves assessing chemical levels in blood and tissue samples to study levels of human exposure to toxic chemicals in our workplaces, homes, and environment.

Senator Boxer said: "This GAO report shows that EPA could do much more to incorporate biomonitoring into the process of assessing the threats posed by toxic pollution. I look forward to working with my colleagues, including Senator Lautenberg, and with the EPA to ensure that the Agency is using every tool available to protect our children and families from exposure to toxic chemicals."

Senator Lautenberg said: "Every day, Americans use household products that contain hundreds of chemicals - yet few of these chemicals have actually been proven safe for our families and children. Biomonitoring data is critical for assessing the risk of chemicals, but EPA does not have the tools or authority to effectively collect and use this information. This GAO report is proof positive we need a law like my Kids-Safe Chemicals Act, which would give EPA the tools it needs to better protect Americans from toxic chemicals." Sen. Lautenberg is preparing to reintroduce legislation later this year -- the "Kids-Safe Chemicals Act" -- to shift the burden for proving chemicals are safe from the EPA to chemical manufacturers, and to better utilize biomonitoring data, among other provisions.