Why Exposure Science Matters

How do pollutants and contaminants cause disease? How could we avert the human toll caused by environmental exposures?  The World Health Organization estimates that as much as 24% of global disease – 33% in children under five – is caused by exposure to environmental contaminants.  Most of these diseases could be averted.  Preventing environmental risk could save as many as four million lives a year, mostly those of children in developing countries.

Current Research

Our faculty are finding new ways to measure and monitor chemical and microbial contaminants in our air, water, homes and workplaces, and assess the risks they pose to human health. From the use of personal products to our consumption of food, water, and air, people are exposed to a wide array of agents each day–many with the potential to affect health. By focusing on the environmental causes of disease, and how various diseases are influenced by factors in the environment, our faculty are breaking new ground in understanding the interactions between environment and health. Our advance mass spectroscopy laboratory has some of the most sensitive instrumentation in the world. This allows us to measure biomarkers of disease at cellular levels, including measuring exposure to air pollutants, occupational hazards, drinking water disinfectants and chemicals formed within the body.  We are revealing individual and environmental factors that contribute significantly to the risk of disease, so that interventions and policy measure can be initiated to reduce unacceptable levels of risk.

Additional Research in the Field of Exposure Science

Prevalence of drug-resistant staph may be higher in young children of hog workers, study finds

Unprecedented alliance of scientists, physicians, health advocates agree: Toxic chemicals are hurting brain development

Researchers identify new methodology for examining changes in lung cells after pollution exposure

Study finds no evidence that phthalates are responsible for increased childhood obesity

Prenatal exposure to cadmium associated with increased risk of pre-eclampsia


Highlighted Leaders in the Field