Environmental Health Program

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The Environmental Health Program (Contaminant Biology and Toxic Substances Hydrology) supports integrated natural science expertise and capabilities across the USGS related to environmental contaminants and pathogens. This science informs stakeholder decisions to manage fish and wildlife health and provides environmental exposure information to partners in public health.

Contaminant Biology

Contaminant Biology

Science Centers and scientists supported by Contaminant Biology develop and apply advanced laboratory methods, field investigations, and modeling to understand toxicity and effects of environmental contaminants and pathogens.

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Toxic Substances Hydrology

Toxic Substances Hydrology

Science Centers and scientists suported by Toxic Substances Hydrology develop advanced analytical methods, field and laboratory studies, and modeling to understand sources, fate, and exposure to environmental contaminants and pathogens.

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News

Date published: November 16, 2021

Uranium in Grand Canyon Region Groundwater Mostly Complies with Federal Health Standards

Nearly 95% of samples collected from 206 locations over 40 years show uranium concentrations less than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Maximum Contaminant Level for drinking water, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report.

Date published: November 2, 2021

The USGS One Health Approach to Wildlife Disease and Environmental Change

One Health is a collaborative approach – working at the local, regional, national, and global levels – with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.  USGS researchers conduct surveillance and research to support a One Health approach to respond to zoonotic diseases and environmental change.   ...

Date published: October 8, 2021

Friday's Findings October 15 2021

Ecological Pathways of Contaminant Transfer and Effects: Aquatic Insects and Insectivores

Date: October 15, 2021 from 2-2:30 p.m. eastern time

Speaker: Johanna M. Kraus, USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Tandem field and laboratory approaches to quantify attenuation mechanisms of pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical transformation products in a wastewater effluent-dominated stream

Evolving complex mixtures of pharmaceuticals and transformation products in effluent-dominated streams pose potential impacts to aquatic species; thus, understanding the attenuation dynamics in the field and characterizing the prominent attenuation mechanisms of pharmaceuticals and their transformation products (TPs) is critical for hazard...

Zhi, Hui; Mianecki, Alyssa L; Kolpin, Dana W.; Klaper, Rebecca D.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; LeFevre, Gregory H.

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Year Published: 2021

Distribution of chlorinated volatile organic compounds and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in monitoring wells at the former Naval Air Warfare Center, West Trenton, New Jersey, 2014–17

A study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Navy (the Navy) to determine the status of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in groundwater at the former Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) in West Trenton, New Jersey. Wells contaminated with VOCs were sampled in 2014,...

Imbrigiotta, Thomas E.; Fiore, Alex R.
Imbrigiotta, T.E., and Fiore, A.R., 2021, Distribution of chlorinated volatile organic compounds and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in monitoring wells at the former Naval Air Warfare Center, West Trenton, New Jersey, 2014–17: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1105, 107 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201105.

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Year Published: 2021

Machine learning models of arsenic in private wells throughout the conterminous United States as a tool for exposure assessment in human health studies

Arsenic from geologic sources is widespread in groundwater within the United States (U.S.). In several areas, groundwater arsenic concentrations exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maximum contaminant level of 10 μg per liter (μg/L). However, this standard applies only to public-supply drinking water and not to private-supply, which is...

Lombard, Melissa; Scannell Bryan, Molly; Jones, Daniel K.; Bulka, Catherine; Bradley, Paul; Backer, Lorraine C.; Focazio, Michael J.; Silverman, Debra T.; Toccalino, Patricia; Argos, Maria; Gribble, Matthew O.; Ayotte, Joseph D.