Toxic Substances Hydrology Program

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Toxic Substances Hydrology Program scientists 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 with Contaminant Biology Program Scientists who then determine the toxicity and effects of contaminants.

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: September 26, 2019

Equus Beds Aquifer Water Quality Nearly Unchanged between 2001 and 2016

Study Shows Water Quality Minimally Affected by Artificial Recharge

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."

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.; Bradley, Paul M.