It affects us all.

The air we breathe. The water we drink. The food we eat. All the things we come in contact with every day. Nothing is more intrinsic to health than our environment, with environmental exposures among the leading contributors to health problems. And while people are affected regardless of income and geography, environmental health risks especially threaten the most vulnerable among us.

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For decades, the Department of Environmental Health has conducted policy-relevant research, often working closely with affected communities, to help address environmental challenges. Academically, our students prepare to meet the challenges of environmental health through a solid grounding in epidemiology, exposure science, toxicology, risk assessment and related fields, as well as training in legal and economic topics relevant to environmental and public health.

Our work addresses the health effects of exposures to complex mixtures of chemicals, including chemicals contained in consumer products as well as contaminants of water, food, and soil such as lead or mercury. We evaluate the health effects of air pollution, including connections with global climate change. We are also interested in the adverse effects of non-chemical hazards such as noise, heat, and social stressors, and how different kinds of chemical and non-chemical exposures accumulate or interact to harm health. Vulnerable populations such as children and people living in poverty in the US and internationally are of special interest to us. The department includes two centers: one that addresses the mechanisms of action and consequences to health of exposure to chemicals found at Superfund sites and the other that addresses environmental health disparities in low-income communities and throughout Massachusetts.

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Environmental Health News

Environmental Health Calendar


  • Published On 2/1/2019Hexavalent Chromium Exposure and Nasal Tissue Effects at a Commercial Aircraft Refinishing Facility.Journal of occupational and environmental medicineread at PubMed
  • Published On 1/28/2019Correlates of exposure to phenols, parabens, and triclocarban in the Study of Environment, Lifestyle and Fibroids.Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiologyread at PubMed
  • Published On 1/24/2019Current respiratory symptoms and risk factors in pregnant women cooking with biomass fuels in rural Ghana.Environment internationalread at PubMed
  • Published On 1/9/2019Association between Urban Greenness and Depressive Symptoms: Evaluation of Greenness Using Various Indicators.International journal of environmental research and public healthread at PubMed
  • Published On 1/2/2019Our Freshwater EmergencyIn These Timesread at Custom
  • Published On 1/1/2019Heavy Metal Neurotoxicants Induce ALS-Linked TDP-43 Pathology.Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicologyread at PubMed
  • Published On 1/1/2019Longitudinal Phenotypes of Respiratory Health in a High-Risk Urban Birth Cohort.American journal of respiratory and critical care medicineread at PubMed
  • Published On 1/1/2019Shared and Study-specific Dietary Patterns and Head and Neck Cancer Risk in an International Consortium.Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.)read at PubMed
  • Published On 12/22/2018Prenatal Household Air Pollution Alters Cord Blood Mononuclear Cell Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number: Sex-Specific Associations.International journal of environmental research and public healthread at PubMed
  • Published On 12/15/2018DoD/VA Gulf War Illness Common Data Elements (CDEs) Committee Report read at Custom