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Environmental Health

America has an abundance of natural resources, such as fossil fuels, surface and groundwater, agriculture, forests, animals, and minerals. These resources are vital for our health and well-being. Contaminants can affect the health of these natural resources. USGS is investigating contaminant sources, movement, destinations, and exposures to humans and wildlife to understand environmental health. 

USGS Environmental Health Focused Science Answers Questions Related to Contaminants

The health of our land, water, and living resources can be affected by environmental exposures to natural and man-made chemicals or disease-causing pathogens (collectively referred to as “environmental contaminants”). USGS Environmental Health research supports integrated natural science expertise and capabilities across the USGS related to environmental contaminants.

Venn diagram depicting the USGS One Health concept, where animal health, human health and ecosystem conditions interact.
The USGS One Health approach addresses the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. 

The USGS, within the Department of the Interior, provides a broad range of natural science expertise relevant to environmental health. USGS’s Environmental health science is driven by the principle that human health and animal health are interdependent and closely linked to the health of the shared ecosystems. This concept is commonly referred to as “One Health” This One-Health approach recognizes the interdependence of human and animal health and the health of ecosystems that they share.

The USGS Environmental Health Research framework covers topics on environmental contaminant sources, movement, and destinations in the environment, where, how, and when humans and wildlife are exposed, and understanding effects on wildlife.

 

Questions We Answer: 

  • What are potential sources of Environmental Contaminants (ECs)?
  • How do ECs and pathogens move through the environment?
  • Where are ECs found in the environment? How can they be measured? 
  • What factors affect where ECs are found in the environment?
    • How do changes in hydrology influence exposures to contaminant and pathogen?
    • How do natural disasters influence exposure to contaminants and pathogens?
  • Are terrestrial and (or) aquatic wildlife exposed to ECs in the environment? 
  • Do environmental contaminants pass from wildlife to humans?
    • If so, what are the effects?
  • Are humans exposed to ECs in drinking water?
Environmental Health 101

Environmental Health 101

One Health

One Health

Contaminants and Toxicants

Contaminants and Toxicants

Emerging Issues

Emerging Issues

Exposure Routes

Exposure Routes

Method Development

Method Development

energy production

energy production

Critical Minerals and Mining

Critical Minerals and Mining