Environmental Health Program

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The Environmental Health Program (Contaminant Biology and Toxic Substances Hydrology) supports integrated natural science expertise and capabilities across the USGS related to environmental contaminants and pathogens. This science informs stakeholder decisions to manage fish and wildlife health and provides environmental exposure information to partners in public health.

Contaminant Biology

Contaminant Biology

Science Centers and scientists supported by Contaminant Biology develop and apply advanced laboratory methods, field investigations, and modeling to understand toxicity and effects of environmental contaminants and pathogens.

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Toxic Substances Hydrology

Toxic Substances Hydrology

Science Centers and scientists suported by Toxic Substances Hydrology develop advanced analytical methods, field and laboratory studies, and modeling to understand sources, fate, and exposure to environmental contaminants and pathogens.

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News

Date published: September 16, 2020

New Study Identifies Pesticide Mixtures in U.S. Rivers and Streams

A mix of multiple pesticides is common in many U.S. streams, reports a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Program.

Date published: September 11, 2020

Bioaccumulation of Mercury in Fish Varied by Species and Location in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed—Summary of Existing Data and a Roadmap for Integrated Monitoring

Fish mercury data from State monitoring programs and research studies within the Chesapeake Bay were compiled and summarized to provide a comprehensive overview of the variation in fish mercury concentrations among species and habitats within the watershed...

Date published: September 11, 2020

Review of Cyanobacterial Neurotoxins—Information for Prioritizing Future Science Directions

The current state of knowledge on the modes of action, production, fate, and occurrence of the freshwater cyanobacterial neurotoxins, anatoxin-a and saxitoxin, was reviewed and synthesized to identify gaps and critical research needs to better...

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

Occurrence and spatiotemporal dynamics of pharmaceuticals in a temperate-region wastewater effluent-dominated stream: Variable inputs and differential attenuation yield evolving complex exposure mixtures

Effluent-dominated streams are becoming increasingly common in temperate regions and generate complex pharmaceutical mixture exposure conditions that may impact aquatic organisms via drug–drug interactions. Here, we quantified spatiotemporal pharmaceutical exposure concentrations and composition mixture dynamics during baseflow conditions at four...

Zhi, Hui; Kolpin, Dana W.; Klaper, R.D.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Meppelink, Shannon M.; LeFevre, Gregory H.

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Year Published: 2020

Boreal blazes: Biomass burning and vegetation types archived in the Juneau Icefield

The past decade includes some of the most extensive boreal forest fires in the historical record. Warming temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, the desiccation of thick organic soil layers, and increased ignition from lightning all contribute to a combustive combination. Smoke aerosols travel thousands of kilometers, before blanketing the...

Kehrwald, Natalie; Jasmann, Jeramy Roland; Dunham, Melissa E.; Ferris, David G.; Osterburg, Erich C.; Kennedy, Joshua; Havens, Jeremy; Barber, Larry; Fortner, Sarah K.

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Year Published: 2020

Standardized guide to the examination and necropsy of the horseshoe crab using Limulus polyphemus as Limulidae prototype

The Atlantic, or American, horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) has existed largely unchanged for over 100 million years. Millions of individuals are commonly observed ashore in spring and summer months during spawning events along the entire North American coastline expanding from the East to the Gulf coasts of the United States and Mexico. Other...

Roorda, Katie; Arnold, Jill; Meteyer, Carol; Whitaker, Brent