Contaminant Biology Program


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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Date published: March 20, 2019

What's New with Our Budget in Fiscal Year 2020

Information on funding for Environmental Health Mission Area programs for fiscal year 2020.

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.


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Year Published: 2019

Current state of knowledge on biological effects from contaminants on arctic wildlife and fish

Since the last Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) effort to review biological effects of the exposure to organohalogen compounds (OHCs) in Arctic biota, there has been a considerable number of new Arctic effect studies. Here, we provide an update on the state of the knowledge of OHC, and also include mercury, exposure and/or...

Dietz, Rune; Letcher, Robert J.; Desforges, Jean-Pierre; Eulaers, Igor; Sonne, Christian; Wilson, Simon; Andersen-Ranberg, Emilie; Basu, Niladri; Barst, Benjamin D.; Bustnes, Jan Ove; Bytingsvik, Jenny; Ciesielski, Tomasz M.; Drevnick, Paul E.; Gabrielsen, Geir W.; Haarr, Ane; Hylland, Ketil; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Levin, Milton; McKinney, Melissa A.; Nørregaard, Rasmus Dyrmose; Pedersen, Kathrine E.; Provencher, Jennifer; Styrishave, Bjarne; Tartu, Sabrina; Aars, Jon; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Rosing-Asvid, Aqqalu; Barrett, Rob; Bignert, Anders; Born, Erik W.; Branigan, Marsha; Braune, Birgit; Bryan, Colleen E.; Dam, Maria; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Evans, Marlene S.; Evans, Thomas J.; Fisk, Aaron T.; Gamberg, Mary; Gustavson, Kim; Hartman, C. Alex; Helander, Björn; Herzog, Mark P.; Hoekstra, Paul F.; Houde, Magali; Hoydal, Katrin; Jackson, Allyson K.; Kucklick, John; Lie, Elisabeth; Loseto, Lisa; Mallory, Mark L.; Miljeteig, Cecilie; Mosbech, Anders; Muir, Derek C.G.; Nielsen, Sanna Túni; Peacock, Elizabeth; Pedro, Sara; Peterson, Sarah H.; Polder, Anuschka; Rigét, Frank F.; Roach, Pat; Saunes, Halvor; Sinding, Mikkel-Holger S.; Skaare, Janneche U.; Søndergaard, Jens; Stenson, Garry; Stern, Gary; Treu, Gabriele; Schuur, Stacy S.; Víkingsson, Gísli
Dietz, R., Letcher, R. J., Desforges, J. P., Eulaers, I., Sonne, C., Wilson, S., ... & Bytingsvik, J. (2019). Current state of knowledge on biological effects from contaminants on arctic wildlife and fish. Science of The Total Environment, 133792.

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Year Published: 2019

Toward sustainable environmental quality: Priority research questions for North America

Anticipating, identifying, and prioritizing strategic needs represent essential activities by research organizations. Decided benefits emerge when these pursuits engage globally important environment and health goals, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, horizon scanning efforts can facilitate identification of...

Fairbrother, Anne; Muir, Derek; Solomon, Keith R.; Ankley, Gerald T.; Rudd, Murray A.; Boxall, Alistair B. A.; Adams, William J.; Apell, Jennifer N.; Armbrust, Kevin L.; Blalock, Bonnie J.; Bowman, Sarah R.; Campbell, Linda M.; Cobb, George P.; Connors, Kristin A.; Dreier, David A.; Evans, Marlene S.; Henry, Carol J.; Hoke, Robert A.; Houde, Magali; Klaine, Stephen J.; Klaper, Rebecca D.; Kullik, Sigrun A.; Lanno, Roman P.; Meyer, Charles; Ottinger, Mary Ann; Oziolor, Elias; Petersen, Elijah J.; Poynton, Helen C.; Rice, Pamela J.; Rodriguez-Fuentes, Gabriela; Samel, Alan; Shaw, Joseph R.; Steevens, Jeffery; Verslycke, Tim A.; Vidal-Dorsch, Doris E.; Weir, Scott M.; Wilson, Peter; Brooks, Bryan W.

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Year Published: 2019

Biota dose assessment of small rodents sampled near breccia pipe uranium mines in the Grand Canyon watershed

The biotic exposure and uptake of radionuclides and potential health effects due to breccia pipe uranium mining in the Grand Canyon watershed are largely unknown. This paper describes the use of the RESRAD-BIOTA dose model to assess exposure of small rodents (n = 11) sampled at three uranium mine sites in different stages of ore production (active...

Minter, Kelsey M.; Jannik, Timothy; Hinck, Jo Ellen; Cleveland, Danielle; Kubilius, Walter P.; Kuhne, Wendy W.