Current Environmental Health Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 16–21 | Cite as

Biomonitoring and Nonpersistent Chemicals—Understanding and Addressing Variability and Exposure Misclassification

  • Judy S. LaKind
  • Fadwa Idri
  • Daniel Q. Naiman
  • Marc-André VernerEmail author
Methods in Environmental Epidemiology (AZ Pollack and NJ Perkins, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Methods in Environmental Epidemiology


Purpose of Review

We offer here a review of intraindividual variability in urinary biomarkers for assessing exposure to nonpersistent chemicals. We provide thoughts on how to better evaluate exposure to nonpersistent chemicals.

Recent Findings

We summarized reported values of intraclass correlation coefficients and found that most values fall into categories that indicate only poor to good reproducibility. Even within the “good” classification, a large percentage of study participants is likely to be misclassified as to their exposure.


There is sufficient information to support the statement that studies using only one spot measurement of a nonpersistent chemical will be unreliable. It is unequivocal that multiple samples have to be collected over a period of toxicological relevance and with consideration of exposure patterns. Sponsors of research and researchers themselves should be vocal about ensuring that sufficient resources are made available to properly characterize exposures when studying nonpersistent chemicals. Otherwise, we will continue to see an ever-growing body of literature yielding inconsistent and/or uninterpretable results.


Biomonitoring Nonpersistent Short-lived chemical Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) Exposure Epidemiology 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judy S. LaKind
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fadwa Idri
    • 3
  • Daniel Q. Naiman
    • 4
  • Marc-André Verner
    • 3
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.LaKind Associates, LLCCatonsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public HealthUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Department of Applied Mathematics and StatisticsThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Université de Montréal Public Health Research Institute (IRSPUM)Université de MontréalMontrealCanada

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