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: 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

Date published: August 31, 2021

Assessing Contaminants at Virgin Islands National Park and the Coral Reef National Monument

The U.S. Virgin Islands attracts more than two million people each year, most of whom are eager to explore the white sandy beaches and tropical marine ecosystems, including coral reefs. 

July 16, 2021

GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter, July 2021

The GeoHEALTH–USGS Newsletter—published since 2004—provides information on USGS science pertinent to safeguarding the health of fish, wildlife, domesticated animals, livestock, and people from environmental exposures to contaminants and pathogens. The research is supported by the Environmental Health Program of the Ecosystems Mission AreaClick here for past issues.

Publications

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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.

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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.

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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.