Environmental Health Program

News

Browse through a list of USGS environmental health news and budget items.

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Filter Total Items: 85
Date published: April 4, 2016

Despite Long-Lasting Pollutants, Ospreys Thrive in US’ Largest Estuary

The world's largest breeding population of ospreys is coping well with the long-lasting residues of toxic chemicals that were banned decades ago but remain in the Chesapeake Bay food chain at varying levels, such as the pesticide DDT and insulating chemicals known as PCBs.

Date published: March 3, 2016

USGS Assesses Baseline Conditions Prior to Uranium Mining near Grand Canyon National Park

Scientists have collected and analyzed 84 environmental samples to establish baseline data prior to any active uranium mining activities at the Canyon Uranium Mine, located south of Grand Canyon National Park.

Date published: February 17, 2016

Algal Toxins Detected in One-Third of Streams Assessed in Southeastern United States

USGS scientists have detected toxins known as microcystins produced by various forms of algae in 39 percent of the small streams assessed throughout the southeastern United States. Their recent study looked at 75 streams in portions of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Date published: February 9, 2016

President’s 2017 Budget Proposes $1.2 Billion for the USGS

WASHINGTON—The President’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request for the U.S. Geological Survey reflects the USGS's vital role in addressing some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st Century by advancing scientific discovery and innovation.

Date published: February 8, 2016

USGS Increases Public Access to Scientific Research

The U.S. Geological Survey is implementing new measures that will improve public access to USGS-funded science as detailed in its new public access plan.

Date published: January 13, 2016

Manmade Mercury Emissions Decline 30 Percent from 1990-2010

Between 1990 and 2010, global mercury emissions from manmade sources declined 30 percent, according to a new analysis by Harvard University, Peking University, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, and the University of Alberta. These results challenge long-standing assumptions about mercury emission trends.

Date published: December 18, 2015

EarthWord – Medical Geology

Medical Geology is an earth science specialty that concerns how geologic materials and earth processes affect human health. 

Date published: December 18, 2015

EarthWord – Leachate

No, it’s not a sports drink for leeches, although that’s what it sounds like. Leachate is the solution (or suspension) that forms when liquid travels through a solid and removes some components of that solid with it. Those components may be dissolved or suspended within the liquid.

Date published: December 10, 2015

New Tool Can Determine the Sources of Mercury Found in the Great Lakes

For the first time, land and resource managers in the Great Lakes will be able to distinguish between the various sources of mercury in the environment, a toxic chemical of significant concern in the region. This is thanks to a new tool that “fingerprints” the mercury, developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Date published: November 13, 2015

Understanding how Pharmaceuticals in the Environment Affect Fish

Fish health may be affected by pharmaceuticals in treated wastewater released into streams and other water bodies, according to a recent laboratory and field study by the Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory at St. Cloud State University and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Date published: November 12, 2015

Storage and Treatment of Liquid Waste from Landfills Doesn’t Remove All Contaminants, Including Pharmaceuticals

New research from the U.S. Geological Survey details that even after the storage and/or treatment of leachate – liquid waste that moves through or drains from a landfill − it can still contain a multitude of chemicals and reflects the diverse nature of residential, industrial, and commercial waste discarded into landfills in the United States.

Date published: November 5, 2015

Removing Nitrogen from Groundwater Has New Ally: Anammox

USGS scientists have conducted the first-ever field measurements of anammox activity in groundwater, demonstrating that nitrogen removal from groundwater can occur through the action of naturally occurring bacteria. This research was conducted in collaboration with partners from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the University of Connecticut.