Environmental Health Program

Home

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.

Go to

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.

Go to

News

Date published: May 27, 2021

Inorganic and Organic Chemical Mixtures Detected in both Public and Private Tap Water in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Multiple detections of regulated and unregulated chemical (inorganic, organic) analytes or elements were detected in both privately and publicly supplied tap water samples from 20 residences in Cape Cod, Massachusetts that share a common source of water.

Date published: May 25, 2021

Long-Term Monitoring Reveals How Water and Biota in Remote Lakes Respond Differently to Changes in Atmospheric Deposition of Mercury

A comparison of regional mercury atmospheric deposition data with water, yellow perch, and dragonfly larvae samples from lakes in Voyageurs National Park indicates that decreases in mercury emissions resulted in mercury reduction in water from these remote lakes, but mercury declines in biota were significant in only one of three lakes.

Date published: April 26, 2021

Flood Redistributes Mercury in Grand Canyon Aquatic Food Webs

Scientists coupled the concepts of energy flow through food webs with measurements of mercury in organic matter and animals to estimate mercury fluxes and fate during an experimental flood in the Colorado River. The flood redistributed mercury in simple,...

Publications

Publication Thumbnail
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.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Occurrence and spatiotemporal dynamics of pharmaceuticals in a temperate-region wastewater effluent-dominated stream: Variable inputs and differential attenuation yield evolving complex exposure mixtures

Effluent-dominated streams are becoming increasingly common in temperate regions and generate complex pharmaceutical mixture exposure conditions that may impact aquatic organisms via drug–drug interactions. Here, we quantified spatiotemporal pharmaceutical exposure concentrations and composition mixture dynamics during baseflow conditions at four...

Zhi, Hui; Kolpin, Dana W.; Klaper, R.D.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Meppelink, Shannon M.; LeFevre, Gregory H.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Boreal blazes: Biomass burning and vegetation types archived in the Juneau Icefield

The past decade includes some of the most extensive boreal forest fires in the historical record. Warming temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, the desiccation of thick organic soil layers, and increased ignition from lightning all contribute to a combustive combination. Smoke aerosols travel thousands of kilometers, before blanketing the...

Kehrwald, Natalie; Jasmann, Jeramy Roland; Dunham, Melissa E.; Ferris, David G.; Osterburg, Erich C.; Kennedy, Joshua; Havens, Jeremy; Barber, Larry; Fortner, Sarah K.