Contaminant Biology

Health Effects

Filter Total Items: 81
Date published: June 1, 2022
Status: Active

Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Integrated Science Team

Increasing scientific and public awareness of the widespread distribution of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in U.S. drinking-water supplies, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, wildlife, and humans has raised many public health and resource management questions that U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) science can inform.  The USGS Environmental Health Program's PFAS Integrated Science...

Date published: May 26, 2021
Status: Active

Ecotoxicology and Ecological Risks of Per‐ and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

Ecotoxicology and ecological risks of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are summarized to highlight critical gaps and uncertainties, and to provide potential approaches to fill those gaps, including the development of targeted monitoring programs and cross-disciplinary approaches.

Date published: May 26, 2021
Status: Active

Scientists Provide an Understanding of Anticoagulant Rodenticide Exposure in Non-Target Bird Species

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their partners utilize laboratory and field studies and existing information to improve understanding of anticoagulant rodenticide exposure and effects to wild birds.

Date published: May 19, 2021
Status: Active

Nationwide Occurrence

A National-scale approach is used to examine and analyze per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) prevalence and magnitude in watersheds and aquifers. As an initial step to fill known science gaps in the understanding of human and and wildlife exposure, the team will provide a snapshot of PFAS in drinking water paired with bioaccumulation in fish and wildlife near known or suspected...

Date published: May 19, 2021
Status: Active

Advanced PFAS Measurement Methods

Environmental Health Program scientists, in collaboration with other USGS scientists, are developing complementary field and laboratory methods and capabilities to detect and quantify a range of target and nontarget per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) compounds and indicator compounds at low levels (parts per trillion) in a variety of environmental matrices. The PFAS Integrated...

Date published: April 15, 2021
Status: Completed

Bioaccumulation of Mercury in Fish Varied by Species and Location in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed—Summary of Existing Data and a Roadmap for Integrated Monitoring

Fish mercury data from State monitoring programs and research studies within the Chesapeake Bay were compiled and summarized to provide a comprehensive overview of the variation in fish mercury concentrations among species and habitats within the watershed. These data are put into context with existing health benchmarks for humans, birds, and fish. Scientists also provide a roadmap for an...

Date published: June 11, 2020
Status: Completed

U.S. Geological Survey Microbiologist Selected as an American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer

Dale Warren Griffin, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) environmental public-health microbiologist, was selected as a Waksman Foundation Distinguished Lecturer for the 2020–22 American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Lecture Series. 

Date published: February 12, 2020
Status: Active

How are Mercury Sources Determined?

USGS scientists use innovative isotopic identification methods to determine mercury sources in air, water, sediments, and wildlife.

Date published: February 10, 2020
Status: Completed

Satellite Data Used to Estimate and Rank Cyanobacterial Bloom Magnitude in Florida and Ohio Lakes—Developing Tools to Protect Human and Wildlife Health from Cyanotoxin Exposure

Cyanobacterial bloom magnitude during 2003–11 was quantified and ranked in Florida and Ohio lakes with a newly developed modelling tool that allows for the use of multiple satellite data sources and user-defined thresholds. This tool was designed to identify the magnitude of algal blooms, but one metric alone cannot adequately represent the severity of a bloom of interest in terms of toxicity...

Contacts: Keith A Loftin, Ph.D., Sachi Mishra
Date published: November 18, 2019
Status: Completed

Prevalence of Malignant Melanoma in Brown Bullhead from Lake Memphremagog Greater than Expected—Linkages to Contaminant Exposure and Implications for Fish Population Health are Currently Unknown

Raised black lesions observed in 30 percent of the brown bullhead collected from two sites in Lake Memphremagog from 2014 through 2017 were identified microscopically as malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma in freshwater fishes has been reported before, but this cancer occurrence cluster is raising questions about the cause of the tumors and the implications for the long-term health of fish...

Contacts: Vicki S Blazer
Date published: October 4, 2019
Status: Completed

Science to Help Understand Exposure and Toxicological Effects of Environmental Mercury to Representative Birds

Exposure and toxicity of environmental mercury to birds can be enhanced or lessened due to the available sources and forms of mercury and other species dependent factors such as life stage, migratory patterns, foraging and nesting behaviors, transfer of mercury from mothers to eggs, and sex. For example, mercury exposure can lead to sublethal toxicological effects that can influence parental...

Contacts: Josh T Ackerman
Date published: October 3, 2019
Status: Completed

Intersex in Male Smallmouth Bass in the Missisquoi River in Vermont: Understanding Factors that Can Lead to Endocrine Disruption in Field Settings

The presence of testicular oocytes (intersex) in male smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) in the Missisquoi River in Vermont varied over the period of the study and was not related to concentrations of known endocrine disrupting chemicals in the River. Although previous studies have shown linkages between endocrine disrupting chemical exposures and intersex in fish, these results...