Toxic Substances Hydrology

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Science Centers and scientists suported by Toxic Substances Hydrology develop and apply advanced analytical methods, field investigations, laboratory studies, and modeling capabilities to understand sources, movement, and exposure pathways of chemical and microbial contaminants in the environment. They are integrated in the Ecosystems Mission Area as the Environmental Health Program with science centers and scientists supported by Contaminant Biology who then determine toxicity and effects of contaminants and pathogens.

Featured Science Activities

Featured Science Activities

Our Featured Science Articles Highlight Environmental Health Program Science Activities.

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GeoHEALTH-USGS

GeoHEALTH-USGS

The GeoHEALTH–USGS Newsletter—published since 2004—provides information on USGS science activities pertinent to safeguarding the health of fish, wildlife, domesticated animals, and people from environmental exposures to 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.

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.

Date published: July 6, 2021

Media Alert: USGS Dye Tracing Study on the Kansas River to Aid in Protecting Water Supplies

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners will inject a harmless, bright red fluorescent dye into the Kansas River at Eudora July 7-9, weather permitting.

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

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.