Joachim Pleil, PhD

Adjunct Professor
Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Research Physical Scientist
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Curriculum Vitae
Occupational and Environmental Exposure Science Program
North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center


1976 Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL BS, Physics
1976 Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL BS, Mathematics
1979 Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL MS, Physics
2004 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill PhD, Environmental Science and Engineering


ENVR640 Environmental Exposure Assessment


Research interests

  • Cancer
  • Environment (general)
  • Metabolism
  • Technology


Research activities

I work at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the National Exposure Research Laboratory. My research focuses on methods development for environmental exposure science. This includes laboratory work with GC-MS, LC-MS, and immunochemistry platforms (Luminex and MSD) as well as wet chemistry procedures for processing complex environmental and biological matrices for trace level analysis. My recent focus has been on cumulative and aggregate exposure research dealing with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) exposure. In my laboratory at EPA, we also study biological (metabolic) responses to complex mixtures as expressed in endogenous compounds in exhaled breath, exhaled breath condensate, urine, and blood. At UNC, I collaborate with researchers at ENVR on geospatial/temporal mapping and exposure assessment projects. My group also has collaborative efforts in place with UNC School of Medicine, University of Pisa (Italy) Department of Chemistry, and Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

Key publications

Pleil, J.D. (2009) Influence of systems biology response and environmental exposure level on between-subject variability in breath and blood biomarkers. Biomarkers: vol.14(8), p.560-571.

Pleil, J.D. (2008) Role of Exhaled Breath Biomarkers in Environmental Health Science. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, Critical Reviews: vol.11(8), p.613-629.

Pleil, J.D. and Lorber, M.N. (2007) Relative congener scaling of polychlorinated dioxins and furans to estimate building fire contributions in air, surface wipes, and dust samples. Environmental Science and Technology: vol.41, p.7286-7293.

Pleil, J.D., Kim, D. Prah, J.D., and Rappaport, S.M (2007) Exposure reconstruction for reducing uncertainty in risk assessment: Example using MTBE biomarkers and a simple pharmacokinetic model. Biomarkers: vol.12(4), p.331-348.

Pleil, J.D., A.F. Vette, B.A. Johnson, and S.M. Rappaport (2004) Air Levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Following the World Trade Center Disaster. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: vol.101(32), p.11685-11688.