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.

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.  We train the next generation of environmental health professionals, including through engagement in the MPH and MS programs, the PhD in Environmental Health and the cross-campus URBAN PhD program, and professional development opportunities such as the Local Public Health Institute of Massachusetts and the New England Public Health Training Center.

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 and a changing climate, including through the the school-wide Center for Climate and Health at BUSPH, which is led by environmental health faculty.  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.

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Center for Climate and Health

Launched in Spring 2022, the Center for Climate and Health has the broad goal of fostering a diverse and vibrant community of researchers passionate about informing and minimizing the impacts of continued climate change on the health of people and communities. The Program is led by Dr. Gregory Wellenius.

Visit the official Center for Climate and Health website

Recent Research in Environmental Health

Latest Publications

  • Published On 11/1/20222022 Inflation Reduction Act: Climate Investments Are Public Health Investments.American journal of public healthread at PubMed
  • Published On 11/1/2022Heatwaves and Air Pollution: a Deadly Combination.American journal of respiratory and critical care medicineread at PubMed
  • Published On 10/24/2022Urban green space and albedo impacts on surface temperature across seven United States cities.The Science of the total environmentread at PubMed
  • Published On 10/22/2022Critical windows of susceptibility for the effects of prenatal exposure to heat and heat variability on gestational growth.Environmental researchread at PubMed
  • Published On 10/21/2022Ante-mortem plasma phosphorylated tau (181) predicts Alzheimer''s disease neuropathology and regional tau at autopsy.Brain : a journal of neurologyread at PubMed