Contaminant Biology Program

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Contaminant Biology Program scientists develop and apply advanced laboratory methods, field investigations, and modeling capabilities to understand toxicity and effects of environmental contaminant exposure. They are integrated with Toxic Substances Hydrology Program Scientists who determine sources, movement, and exposure pathways of contaminants in the environment.

Featured Science Activities

Featured Science Activities

Our Science Feature Articles highlight recent USGS environmental health science activities.

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GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

The GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter provides information on new USGS science activities related to safeguarding the health of fish, wildlife, domesticated animals, livestock, and people from environmental exposures to contaminants and pathogens.

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News

Date published: March 20, 2019

What's New with Our Budget in Fiscal Year 2020

Fiscal Year 2020 Funding Information for Environmental Health Mission Area Programs 

Date published: February 22, 2019

Fiscal Year 2018 USGS Environmental Health Mission Area Accomplishments

In Fiscal Year 2018 our two integrated programs – Contaminant Biology and Toxic Substances Hydrology Programs – provided essential information to understand the risks of environmental contaminants and pathogens.

"Everything we do is designed to safeguard the Nation's health, economy, and resources."

Date published: February 15, 2019

Environmental Health Mission Area Science Priorities for Fiscal Year 2019

The USGS Environmental Health Mission Area (EHMA)—through its integrated programs, the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program (TSHP) and the Contaminant Biology Program (CBP) — will continue its non-regulatory, non-advocacy science throughout 2019.

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Malignant melanoma of Brown Bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) in Lake Memphremagog, Vermont/Quebec

In 2012, brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus) with large, raised, black growths were first reported from multiple areas within the Vermont portion of Lake Memphremagog. Subsequent surveys conducted from 2014-2017 at two sites within the lake indicated a prevalence of 30% in adult brown bullhead 200 mm and above total length. These lesions ranged...

Blazer, Vicki S.; Shaw, Cassidy H.; Smith, Cheyenne R; Emerson, P; Jones, Thomas R.

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Year Published: 2019

Mercury source changes and food web shifts alter contamination signatures of predatory fish from Lake Michigan

To understand the impact reduced mercury (Hg) loading and invasive species have had on methylmercury bioaccumulation in predator fish of Lake Michigan, we reconstructed bioaccumulation trends from a fish archive (1978 to 2012). By measuring fish Hg stable isotope ratios, we related temporal changes in Hg concentrations to varying Hg sources....

Lepak, Ryan F.; Hoffman, Joel C.; Janssen, Sarah E.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Ogorek, Jacob M.; DeWild, John F.; Tate, Michael T.; Babiarz, Christopher L.; Yin, Runsheng; Murphy, Elizabeth W; Engstrom, Daniel R; Hurley, James P.

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Year Published: 2019

Urban stormwater: An overlooked pathway of extensive mixed contaminants to surface and groundwaters in the United States

Increasing global reliance on stormwater control measures to reduce discharge to surface water, increase groundwater recharge, and minimize contaminant delivery to receiving waterbodies necessitates improved understanding of stormwater-contaminant profiles. A multi-agency study of organic and inorganic chemicals in urban stormwater from 50 runoff...

Masoner, Jason R.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Barber, Larry B.; Burden, D.S.; Foreman, William T.; Forshay, Kenneth J.; Furlong, Edward; Groves, Justin F.; Hladik, Michelle; Hopton, Matthew E.; Jaeschke, Jeanne B.; Keefe, Steffanie H.; Krabbenhoft, David; Lowrance , Richard; Romanok, Kristin; Rus, David L.; Selbig, William R.; Williams, Brad; Bradley, Paul