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


  • Published On 5/1/2020The Occupational Safety and Health Administration at 50-the Failure to Improve Workers'' Compensation.American journal of public healthread at PubMed
  • Published On 4/29/2020The COVID-19 pandemic: a moment for exposure science.Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiologyread at PubMed
  • Published On 4/28/2020Racial Disparities in Associations between Neighborhood Demographic Polarization and Birth Weight.International journal of environmental research and public healthread at PubMed
  • Published On 4/25/2020Targeting sirtuin activity with nicotinamide riboside reduces neuroinflammation in a GWI mouse model.Neurotoxicologyread at PubMed
  • Published On 4/24/2020Impact of workplace injury on opioid dependence, abuse, illicit use and overdose: a 36-month retrospective study of insurance claims.Occupational and environmental medicineread at PubMed
  • Published On 4/21/2020Estimation of Coronavirus Disease Case-Fatality Risk in Real Time.Emerging infectious diseasesread at PubMed
  • Published On 4/17/2020Prenatal exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and maternal and neonatal thyroid function in the Project Viva Cohort: A mixtures approach.Environment internationalread at PubMed
  • Published On 4/9/2020Correction to: Occurrence of mental illness following prenatal and early childhood exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE)-contaminated drinking water: a retrospective cohort study.Environmental health : a global access science sourceread at PubMed
  • Published On 4/8/2020Long-term exposure to air pollution and trajectories of cognitive decline among older adults.Neurologyread at PubMed
  • Published On 4/3/2020Prevalence and Patterns of Symptoms Among Female Veterans of the 1991 Gulf War Era: 25 Years Later.Journal of women''s health (2002)read at PubMed