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Environmental Health Program

The Environmental Health Program (Contaminant Biology and Toxic Substances Hydrology) supports integrated natural science expertise and capabilities across the USGS related to environmental contaminants and pathogens. This one-health approach recognizes the interdependence of human and animal health and the health of ecosystems that they share. 

News

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 Six Ways the USGS Celebrates Earth Day Everyday

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GeoHEALTH-USGS Special Issue on PFAS

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USGS Releases Strategy for Addressing PFAS Science Gaps

Publications

Microbially induced anaerobic oxidation of magnetite to maghemite in a hydrocarbon-contaminated aquifer

Iron mineral transformations occurring in hydrocarbon-contaminated sites are linked to the biodegradation of the hydrocarbons. At a hydrocarbon-contaminated site near Bemidji, Minnesota, USA, measurements of magnetic susceptibility (MS) are useful for monitoring the natural attenuation of hydrocarbons related to iron cycling. However, a transient MS, previously observed at the site, remains poorly

Pesticide exposure of wild bees and honey bees foraging from field border flowers in intensively managed agriculture areas

Bees are critical for food crop pollination, yet their populations are declining as agricultural practices intensify. Pollinator-attractive field border plantings (e.g. hedgerows and forb strips) can increase bee diversity and abundance in agricultural areas, however recent studies suggest these plants may contain pesticides. Pesticide exposure for wild bees in agricultural areas remains largely u

A methodology to assess the historical environmental footprint of in-situ recovery (ISR) of uranium: A demonstration in the Goliad Sand in the Texas Coastal Plain, USA

In-situ recovery (ISR) has been the only technique used to extract uranium from sandstone-hosted uranium deposits in the Pliocene Goliad Sand in the Texas Coastal Plain. Water plays a crucial role throughout the ISR lifecycle of production and groundwater restoration yet neither the water use nor other environmental footprints have been well documented. The goal of this study is to examine histori

Science

Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Integrated Science Team

Increasing scientific and public awareness of the widespread distribution of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in U.S. drinking-water supplies, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, wildlife, and humans has raised many public health and resource management questions that U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) science can inform. The USGS Environmental Health Program's PFAS Integrated Science Team...
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Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Integrated Science Team

Increasing scientific and public awareness of the widespread distribution of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in U.S. drinking-water supplies, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, wildlife, and humans has raised many public health and resource management questions that U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) science can inform. The USGS Environmental Health Program's PFAS Integrated Science Team...
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PFAS Transport, Exposure, and Effects

The team is determining the movement and behavior of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from their sources in the environment, as they move through exposure pathways in ecosystems including watersheds and aquifers, their incorporation into food webs, and molecular to population scale effects on fish and wildlife. These studies are accomplished at a variety of spatial scales from regional...
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PFAS Transport, Exposure, and Effects

The team is determining the movement and behavior of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from their sources in the environment, as they move through exposure pathways in ecosystems including watersheds and aquifers, their incorporation into food webs, and molecular to population scale effects on fish and wildlife. These studies are accomplished at a variety of spatial scales from regional...
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U.S. Geological Survey Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Science Strategy Identifies Science Gaps and Opportunities

USGS recently (2022) released a strategic vision document that identifies science gaps and opportunities for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) monitoring, assessment, and research activities (sampling protocols and analytical methods, environmental sources and source apportionment, environmental occurrence, environmental fate and transport, human and wildlife exposure routes...
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U.S. Geological Survey Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Science Strategy Identifies Science Gaps and Opportunities

USGS recently (2022) released a strategic vision document that identifies science gaps and opportunities for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) monitoring, assessment, and research activities (sampling protocols and analytical methods, environmental sources and source apportionment, environmental occurrence, environmental fate and transport, human and wildlife exposure routes...
Learn More