Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Ecotoxicology is the study of how contaminants affect wildlife and their habitats. Chemicals of concern include both those purposefully released into the environment (for example, pesticides) and those that are inadvertently released (for example, mining waste or combustion exhaust). Our research is helping to understand potential health hazards posed by chemicals used for pest and weed control, those used in agriculture and industry, and in processes such as mining or other energy development activities. We study the connections between air, water, soil, and living things to identify the environmental pathways that expose wildlife to contaminants.
Browse Ecotoxicology science related to:
Department of Interior manages millions of acres on behalf of the American people. The need to manage these natural resources can include activities such as pest and weed control, which may involve the application of chemicals. Our research helps land managers know the potential hazards of these chemicals and identifies any possible actions to reduce unwanted effects on wildlife.
Industry, including manufacturing, chemical processing, and energy development and extraction, is a critical part of our nation’s economy. Chemicals such as lubricants, coolants, flame retardants, adhesives and others are widely used in industrial processes. And sometimes these chemicals are encountered by wildlife as spills, wastes, and byproducts in the environment. Our research seeks to...
Agriculture plays an important role in our economy and many kinds of chemicals are used for the production, transportation, storage, and manufacturing of food. Agricultural areas attract a variety of wildlife and our scientists provide the needed research to understand potential hazards to wildlife from these agricultural chemicals and how unintentionally exposed animals may be affected.
Living things are intricately connected to each other and to the air, water, and soil that surrounds them. Our research looks at how contaminants move through the environment and living things to understand the chemical and physiological processes and ecological factors that influence exposure and risk in wildlife.