We don’t know enough about the hazardous chemicals people are exposed to on a daily basis – information that is critical to protecting public health.
Although some promising tools exist to measure individuals’ chemical exposures, technological limitations and cost barriers have limited widespread adoption.
EDF is working to catalyze the market for personal chemical exposure monitoring technologies. Our goal is for a robust market of such technologies to help empower individuals with key information about chemical exposures and – ultimately – improve public health.
Gaining insight from the experts
To better understand the current state and future potential of personal chemical exposure monitoring technologies, we went to the experts.
We worked with Google; government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; as well as start-up companies developing such technologies, including MyExposome and Plume Labs.
We conducted interviews and convened a workshop. Through this process we gained critical insights on the market potential for personal chemical exposure technology, including:
- The demand for chemical exposure information is huge and comes from diverse fields.
- Funding is not well-designed for the innovation needed.
- Studies designed to validate new exposure monitoring technologies are critical to build confidence and address apprehension toward new devices.
- Effective communication of personal chemical monitoring data is critical and complicated, and should be as much of a focus for development as the technology itself.
Understanding the market
Experts noted that while there is significant qualitative or anecdotal evidence of demand for such technologies, a quantitative understanding of the potential market for these technologies is needed to drive further investment and market growth. To address this gap, EDF conducted a survey that quantified the demand for personal chemical monitors, with the aim of spurring greater investment in new technologies, processes, and business models.