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 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 11/23/2018An interventional study of rice for reducing cadmium exposure in a Chinese industrial town.Environment internationalread at PubMed
  • Published On 11/16/2018Frequent human-poultry interactions and low prevalence of Salmonella in backyard chicken flocks in Massachusetts.Zoonoses and public healthread at PubMed
  • Published On 11/15/2018Old Receptor, New Tricks-The Ever-Expanding Universe of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Functions. Report from the 4th AHR Meeting, 29?31 August 2018 in Paris, France.International journal of molecular sciencesread at PubMed
  • Published On 11/13/2018The Multiple Hit Hypothesis for Gulf War Illness: Self-Reported Chemical/Biological Weapons Exposure and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.Brain sciencesread at PubMed
  • Published On 11/6/2018Modeled exposure to tetrachloroethylene-contaminated drinking water and the occurrence of birth defects: a case-control study from Massachusetts and Rhode Island.Environmental health : a global access science sourceread at PubMed
  • Published On 10/29/2018Heavy metal neurotoxicants induce ALS-linked TDP-43 pathology.Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicologyread at PubMed
  • Published On 10/29/2018Impacts of high temperature on adverse birth outcomes in Seoul, Korea: Disparities by individual- and community-level characteristics.Environmental researchread at PubMed
  • Published On 10/18/2018Assessing the contributions of metals in environmental media to exposure biomarkers in a region of ferroalloy industry.Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiologyread at PubMed
  • Published On 10/15/2018Development of an in-home, real-time air pollutant sensor platform and implications for community use.Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)read at PubMed