The biobank currently holds over 30,000 samples including:

Samples Year started Project
Breastmilk 1999

Human biomonitoring contributions to WHO/UNEP POPs program. Approximately 500 breastmilk from first time mothers collected.

Serum 2002

Department of Education. Study using surplus pathology samples pooled into 12 age/gender groups. 2,400 samples (or more) collected every 2 years.

Pesticides 2005

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority initiated. A dozen sites using passive samplers for polar and nonpolar pollutants. Expanded to freshwater and estuarine sites in last decade.

Wastewater 2009

Daily samples from wastewater treatment plant. 50 sites one week every 2 or 4 months. Covers >50% of Australian population.

Air 2010

Department of Education. 40 sites nationally, yearly deployment.

Urine 2010

Department of Education. Study using surplus pathology samples pooled into 12 age/gender groups. 2,400 samples (or more) collected every 2 years.

Census wastewater & biosolids 2011

2011 Census day pilot study from 12 wastewater treatment plants. Since 2016 Census samples collected from approx. 100 sites for a week plus biosolids during Census anniversary week.

Priorities and capabilities to understand chemical exposure in the Australian population are constantly evolving, for example through advances in analytical capabilities, ongoing changes in the prioritisation of chemicals, and discovery of new biological markers of exposure. Future retrospective analysis of biobanked samples therefore provides the means to investigate human exposures to chemicals for which there are no current analytical methods or for chemicals on the global market that are not yet recognised as hazardous. The high value of biobanking is internationally recognised and many countries operate state-of-the-art national biobanks.