CHAMACOS Cohort Exposure Studies: Pregnant Women and their Children

As part of the CHAMACOS longitudinal birth cohort study, we are investigating the ways that pregnant women and children living in an agricultural community are exposed to environmental chemicals.  Our work includes assessing levels, and identifying sources and routes of exposure during the prenatal period and childhood.

Currently the CHAMACOS Cohort Exposure Studies are focusing on:

  • Measuring pre- and post-natal manganese (Mn) exposure to children.  We are pioneering new methods to measure manganese in baby teeth.
  • Determining the contribution of nearby agricultural pesticide use to Mn levels in house dust and children’s teeth and blood.
  • Measuring brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) and DDT/E exposure in pregnant women and children and examining ways they are exposed to these chemicals in their environment.

Exposures we have examined: Click here to view all CERCH Environmental Exposure Studies

  • Pesticides
    • Organophosphates
    • Organochlorines (e.g., DDT)
    • Pyrethroids
    • Manganese-containing fungicides
    • Other current-use pesticides
  • Flame retardants (PBDEs)
  • Bisphenol A, Phthalates
  • Allergens
  • Social demographic factors like neighborhood environment and housing quality

Findings from the CHAMACOS Cohort Exposure Studies:
(Go to Findings in Pregnant Women)
 or (Go to Findings in Children)


  • The Salinas Valley, CA
    • One of the world’s richest agricultural areas, producing more than 35 different crops.
    • The mild climate and long growing season mean that the local farmworker population is relatively stable.
    • The Salinas Valley is often referred to as the “nation’s salad bowl,” growing primarily grapes, strawberries, lettuce, artichokes, broccoli and other vegetables.

Study Participants and Data Collection:

  • Learn about CHAMACOS Study Participants and Data Collection here.

Community Partners:

  • Learn about our Community Partners here.

Research Team:

  • Asa Bradman, PhD
  • Brenda Eskenazi, PhD
  • Kim Harley, PhD
  • Nina Holland, PhD
  • Michael Jerrett, PhD
  • Robert Gunier, MPH
  • Ellen Eisen, ScD
  • Rosemary Castorina, PhD
  • Manish Arora, PhD, University of Syndey
  • Donald  Smith, PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Thomas McKone, PhD
  • Lesliam Quirós Alcalá, PhD MS
  • Raul Aguilar Schall, PhD
  • Andreas Sjodin, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Antonia Calafat, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Dana Barr, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (currently at Emory University)
  • John Molitor, PhD, Consultant, Oregon State University


Funded By: Duration: Study Contact:
  • The National Institute for Environmental  Health Sciences (NIEHS)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) 2001-2006
Asa Bradman, PhD
Associate Director, Exposure Assessment, CERCH
[email protected]


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