The 10,000 Families Study

University of Minnesota

The 10,000 Families Study

The 10,000 Families Study (10KFS) is a study about family health. The study invites families to participate with the purpose of understanding the influences of Genetics, lifestyle, and environment on health and illness over time. The study is focused on Minnesota, people from every part of the state, including its large rural and immigrant populations.

10KFS will help us understand health across the lifespan and transmission of risk and protective factors from one generation to another, as well as differences within families and across communities.

Who can be involved? 

For a family to become part of the 10KFS study, one member of that family needs to take an eligibility survey first. That first member must live in Minnesota and be 18 years of age or older. Other family members, including those who live in neighboring states, can be invited by the first participant. All families are welcome! If you want to know if your family is eligible, please click here.

For more information about what you would need to do as a participant, please visit “What do I need to do?

Links to Study website

For more information on

Environmental Exposures of Interest 

What individuals and families are exposed to over time may influence their health 

What chemical factors is 10KFS looking at?
  • Radon
    • Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung Cancer. You can’t see or smell Radon. Testing [in your home] is the only way to know your level of exposure.  Radon can have a big impact on your Indoor Air Quality.” Source
  • Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) also known as the “forever chemicals”
    • “PFAS are widely used, long lasting chemicals, components of which break down very slowly over time. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals” Source
    • PFAS have been found in cookware, upholstery, food packaging, and drinking water
  • Glyphosate (commonly known as RoundUp)
    • “Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide that can kill certain weeds and grasses. Glyphosate works by blocking an enzyme essential for plant growth. The product is used primarily in agriculture, but also in forestry and lawn and garden care.” Source

Outcomes of Interest

What is 10KFS trying to find out through this study?
  • What are the best ways to measure exposure to environmental chemicals in a large population study?
  • What are the levels of exposure to Radon, PFAS and glyphosate in the Minnesota population?
  • Are people with higher levels of chemical exposure more likely to have early signs of blood Cancer (also known as biomarkers)?
  • Does exposure to environmental chemicals Lead to changes in our immune system?
  • We also want to provide other health researchers with a source of information they can use to do more research to benefit health now and into the future.

10KFS Principal Investigators

Heather Hammond Nelson, PhD
Lisa Peterson, PhD
Jen Poynter, PhD, MPH