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California Regional Exposure (CARE) Study

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The California Regional Exposure (CARE) Study in Los Angeles County

In 2018, 430 Los Angeles County residents participated in the CARE Study. All study participants completed surveys and donated blood and urine samples. 

We tested samples from all participants for 10 metals, including mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and lead, and 12 perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). For some participants, we also measured 1-nitropyrene, a chemical that shows if a person was exposed to diesel exhaust. 

We chose these chemicals based on many factors, including: (1) if they are commonly found in the environment or consumer products, and (2) if they are known or suspected to harm health. The CARE Study will help us learn more about chemical exposures across California. Your participation helps to support policy makers and communities in taking action to protect our environment and health.  

Timeline for Results

  • September - October 2018:  We contacted participants with high levels of lead, mercury, arsenic, or cadmium in their samples.  Participants received a letter and a follow-up phone call to discuss their results and possible sources of exposure. 
  • December 2018 - January 2019: Detailed results were mailed to all participants. Results materials include information on ways to help lower your exposure to these chemicals in the future.  
  • September 2019:  Summary study findings were shared at the South Coast Air Quality Management District's 5th Annual Environmental Justice Conference in downtown Los Angeles. 
  • October 2019: Summary data were shared online. These summaries represent the study population as a whole--we will never make your personal results available to anyone but you. 
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