Thomas Webster

Thomas F. Webster, DSc

Professor, Environmental Health - Boston University School of Public Health


Tom Webster has several main research areas: 1) exposure routes and health hazards of chemicals used in consumer products, especially flame retardants, plasticizers and emerging compounds, as well as perfluoralkyl compounds (PFCs) that are also found in water; 2) health impacts of exposure to mixtures of chemicals, with applications in toxicology and epidemiology; 3) endocrine disruption; 4) methodological aspects of environmental epidemiology, particularly causal inference, ecologic bias, the use of combinations of individual and group level data, and disease mapping and clusters. Like the rest of my department, I am very interested in the community context of environmental health.

Dr. Webster served on the National Research Council’s Subcommittee on Fluoride in Drinking Water and the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Making Best Use of the Agent Orange Exposure Reconstruction Model.

The work of Dr. Webster and his colleagues and students has been featured in Environmental Health Perspectives ("PFCs and Cholesterol: A Sticky Connection," "Unwelcome Guest: PBDEs in Indoor Dust"), Bostonia Magazine ("Trouble at Home," "You Are What You Eat, Including Your Sofa"), Discovery News ("Handwashing Cuts Flame Retardant Exposure") and the National Public Radio show "Living on Earth," among other places.


  • Boston University School of Public Health, DSc Field of Study: Environmental Health
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, BS Field of Study: Biophysics

Classes Taught

  • SPHEH757


  • Published on 3/2/2022

    Hammel E, Webster TF, Gurney R, Heiger-Bernays W. Implications of PFAS definitions using fluorinated pharmaceuticals. iScience. 2022 Apr 15; 25(4):104020. PMID: 35313699.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 1/26/2022

    Joubert BR, Kioumourtzoglou MA, Chamberlain T, Chen HY, Gennings C, Turyk ME, Miranda ML, Webster TF, Ensor KB, Dunson DB, Coull BA. Powering Research through Innovative Methods for Mixtures in Epidemiology (PRIME) Program: Novel and Expanded Statistical Methods. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 01 26; 19(3). PMID: 35162394.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/4/2021

    Nielsen G, Heiger-Bernays WJ, Schlezinger JJ, Webster TF. Predicting the effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance mixtures on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha activity in vitro. Toxicology. 2022 01 15; 465:153024. PMID: 34743024.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/18/2021

    Zheng G, Webster TF, Salamova A. Quaternary Ammonium Compounds: Bioaccumulation Potentials in Humans and Levels in Blood before and during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Environ Sci Technol. 2021 11 02; 55(21):14689-14698. PMID: 34662096.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/7/2021

    Sen P, Qadri S, Luukkonen PK, Ragnarsdottir O, McGlinchey A, Jäntti S, Juuti A, Arola J, Schlezinger JJ, Webster TF, Orešic M, Yki-Järvinen H, Hyötyläinen T. Exposure to environmental contaminants is associated with altered hepatic lipid metabolism in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. J Hepatol. 2022 02; 76(2):283-293. PMID: 34627976.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/25/2021

    McGee G, Wilson A, Webster TF, Coull BA. Bayesian multiple index models for environmental mixtures. Biometrics. 2021 Sep 25. PMID: 34562016.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/31/2021

    Bauer JA, White RF, Coull BA, Austin C, Oppini M, Zoni S, Fedrighi C, Cagna G, Placidi D, Guazzetti S, Yang Q, Bellinger DC, Webster TF, Wright RO, Smith D, Horton M, Lucchini RG, Arora M, Claus Henn B. Critical windows of susceptibility in the association between manganese and neurocognition in Italian adolescents living near ferro-manganese industry. Neurotoxicology. 2021 12; 87:51-61. PMID: 34478771.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/29/2021

    Lin PD, Cardenas A, Hauser R, Gold DR, Kleinman KP, Hivert MF, Calafat AM, Webster TF, Horton ES, Oken E. Temporal trends of concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances among adults with overweight and obesity in the United States: Results from the Diabetes Prevention Program and NHANES. Environ Int. 2021 12; 157:106789. PMID: 34333293.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/10/2021

    Schlezinger JJ, Hyötyläinen T, Sinioja T, Boston C, Puckett H, Oliver J, Heiger-Bernays W, Webster TF. Perfluorooctanoic acid induces liver and serum dyslipidemia in humanized PPARa mice fed an American diet. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2021 09 01; 426:115644. PMID: 34252412.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/6/2021

    Harris MH, Oken E, Rifas-Shiman SL, Calafat AM, Bellinger DC, Webster TF, White RF, Sagiv SK. Prenatal and childhood exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and child executive function and behavioral problems. Environ Res. 2021 11; 202:111621. PMID: 34237332.

    Read At: PubMed

News & In the Media