Chemicals are a part of our everyday lives, but we rarely know what we’re being exposed to and at what level. While wearable personal monitoring devices are widely available to anyone interested in tracking their physical activity, no such option currently exists for tracking personal exposure to chemicals in the environment. To encourage and inform development of personal chemical exposure monitors, the Environmental Defense Fund contracted with ERG to conduct a first-of-its-kind landscape assessment of market interest in technologies for detecting individual exposure to harmful chemicals.
ERG began this work by interviewing 16 experts from across the landscape (including investors, developers, industrial hygienists, and potential institutional customers) to assess the PCEM market, including demand, opportunities, and challenges. This expert input also informed ERG’s development of a discrete choice experiment survey to estimate consumer willingness to pay for potential hypothetical PCEM devices and the economic value consumers place on individual features, such as timeliness of results, number of chemicals tracked, types of information provided, and user comfort. We then surveyed over 600 people across the United States and provided EDF with a detailed set of valuation estimates. ERG and EDF coauthored the study report, which concludes that there is a clear consumer market for PCEMs and that demand is anticipated to increase over time. The growth of the health and wellness technology market and increasing awareness of chemical exposures and their health impacts create significant opportunities for entrepreneurs and technology developers interested in the PCEM market.