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Environmental Health

Environmental Health researchers in the Department of Public Health Sciences investigate the associations between exposure to environmental agents and human health. We study and characterize the etiology of environmentally induced illnesses, examining a wide range of exposures, including: 1) particulate and gaseous air pollutants, such as ultrafine particles and ozone; 2) toxic metals, including lead and mercury; 3) chlorinated, fluorinated and brominated organics, including those originating from the use of flame retardants and non-stick materials; 4) chemical exposures from the use of durable and household goods, foods and personal care products (triclosan, phthalates, parabens, bisphenol A); and 5) exposure to unconventional oil and gas development (i.e. hydraulic fracturing). We investigate their effects on a variety of clinical and molecular human health outcomes, assessed across the lifespan. Our population-based studies are conducted regionally (e.g., in Rochester and across New York State), nationally (e.g., California, Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania), and internationally (e.g., China, Slovak Republic, and Republic of Seychelles).

Program Faculty

Elaine Hill, PhD

Exposure to unconventional oil and gas development and birth outcomes, childhood asthma, myocardial infarction hospitalizations and mortality, opioid overdose mortality, and mental health/wellbeing.

Exposure to hazardous waste sites, traffic pollution, power plants, and coal mining during pregnancy and birth outcomes.

Accountability studies examining the effectiveness of policies regulating traffic related air pollution, the oil and gas industry, and hazardous waste (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act).

Philip K. Hopke, PhD

Development of air pollution exposure assessment tools: low-cost sensor monitoring and land-use regression models.

Advanced source apportionment methods including dispersion normalization and combining multiple time interval measurements.

Todd Jusko, PhD

Immunotoxicity of early-life environmental exposures such as PCBs, PFAS, and metal.

Neurodevelopmental consequences of lead exposure.

Camille Martina, Ph.D.

Prenatal exposome studies of Groffdale (Horse & Buggy) and Weaverland (car driving) Old Order Mennonites.

Biomarkers of prenatal and postnatal to exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Immune development: infant to early childhood.

David Rich, ScD, MPH

Air pollution exposure during pregnancy, fetal growth, and biomarkers of placental development, inflammation and oxidative stress, and metabolic deficiency.

Air pollution exposure and triggering of acute cardiorespiratory events, and changes in cardiorespiratory biomarkers.

Accountability studies examining effectiveness of local, regional, and national air quality policies.

Edwin van Wijngaarden, PhD, MSc

Neurotoxicity of toxic metals and biomarkers of potential mechanisms.

Genetic, nutritional, and sociodemographic modifiers of environmental toxicity.

Impact of a fish diet on health and development across the life span.