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Field Epidemiology Section
The Field Epidemiology Section collects and assesses exposure and biomonitoring data for the purpose of identifying human exposure to environmental chemicals. The section works together to design methods to collect and analyze data, as well as share findings that result from biomonitoring surveillance (like blood and urine samples) and other environmental epidemiology investigations.
The Field Epidemiology Section is composed of two units:
Biomonitoring Logistics Unit
Annette Sokolnicki, Unit Manager – 517-284-1282
The Biomonitoring and Logistics Unit is responsible for coordinating and ensuring supplies, staffing and other logistical needs are met within FES (and sometimes DEH) for biomonitoring surveillance and other environmental epidemiology investigations.
The unit manages the Mobile Lab for DEH, ensures it is staffed (e.g., drivers), and makes sure supplies, such as PPE, are available for projects.
Project Managers are embedded within this unit as well. BLU works very closely with different teams across DEH including epidemiologists, health educators, etc.
Exposure Epidemiology Unit
Bryce Spiker, Unit Manager
The Exposure Epidemiology Unit is responsible for monitoring exposure to, and health effects associated with, chemicals in the environment, especially per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The unit is tasked with envisioning and developing large-scale surveillance and research projects to gather data on exposure to environmental contaminants among Michigan residents, with a particular focus on communities and populations impacted by PFAS contamination. The unit also provides epidemiological support as needed across and outside DEH. For example, the Exposure Epidemiology Unit has previously provided support to the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) outbreak response in 2019 and Vaping Related Illness outbreak response in 2020. Various surveillance and research projects that are currently underway include:
- North Kent County Exposure Assessment
- Michigan PFAS Exposure and Health Study (MiPEHS)
- PFAS Exposure and Antibody Response to COVID-19 Vaccine Study
- Multi-Site Health Study (MSS)
- Birth Outcomes Supplemental Study
- PFAS in Firefighters of Michigan Surveillance (PFOMS)
- Michigan Chemical Exposure Monitoring (MiChEM)
The Exposure Epidemiology Unit also works hand-in-hand with the Biomonitoring and Logistics Unit and the Drinking Water and Environmental Sampling Unit to coordinate and implement survey data collection as well as biospecimen and water sample collection across multiple projects.