The Department of Environmental Health Sciences is concerned with the adverse influence of the environment on human health and with controlling these influences. In this regard, the Department considers “environment” in its broadest sense, including the natural, built and social environments.
Here, the natural environment is that part of our physical environment not created by humans, while the built environment is that part of our physical environment created by our activities. The social environment includes factors other than physical processes, such as community socioeconomic status, social integration, neighborhood safety or level of political empowerment.
Traditionally, the field of environmental health sciences has focused on hazardous agents in the environment, including biological, chemical and physical environmental agents. The Department engages in a number of activities within this traditional approach, including studies of the sources and environmental distribution of such agents; human exposure to such agents; the body’s response at the molecular, cellular, organ system- and whole-body levels; environmental risk assessment; and prevention and intervention strategies (including environmental engineering, law, policy and communications solutions).
Our relationships with the schools of Medicine and Nursing ensure that our basic research can be rapidly translated into prevention strategies.
To learn about our academic programs, visit our Degree Programs page.