Research Highlights

The Harvard NIEHS Center supports the research of environmental health scientists working across disciplines and institutions to better understand how exposures to environmental toxins impact our health. Here is a sampling of recent research accomplishments by our members:


Green office environments linked with higher cognitive function scores
Researchers sought to measure the impact of ventilation, chemicals, and carbon dioxide on workers’ cognitive function. Full article

Air-pollution_two-stacks-croppedAir pollution below EPA standards linked with higher death rates
A new study by several Center members found that death rates among people over 65 are higher in zip codes with more fine particulate air pollution.
Full article

Pesticide residues from produce linked with poor semen quality
A recent study found that eating fruits and vegetables with higher levels of pesticide residues is associated with poor semen quality in men.
Full article

Anxiety croppedAir pollution exposure may increase anxiety symptoms
Recent research by Center members suggests that air pollution raises the risk for anxiety symptoms.
Full article

Salmon-croppedMercury exposure associated with consumption of freshwater fish 
A recent study suggests that mercury exposure increases with increased consumption of freshwater fish in rural south central USA.
Full article

Pregnant womanAutism Spectrum Disorder and Air Pollution before, during, and after Pregnancy
New research indicates that exposure to particulate matter air pollution during pregnancy is associated with increased odds of ASD.
Full article

nanoImageNanoparticles: how much exposure is safe?
Researchers at the HSPH Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology Lab, and the NIEHS Center for Environmental Health are finding ways to measure.
Full article

Climate, Air Pollution and Risk for Heart Disease, Stroke:
Drs. Diane Gold and Jonathan Samet explain the link and provide advise on how to protect your cardiovascular health.
Full article

Pesticide-sprayer-release sqGrowing number of chemicals linked with neurodevelopmental disabilities
A recent study outlines possible links between newly recognized neurotoxicants and negative health effects on children
Full article

woman with water sqBPA linked to infertility in women
This Center Pilot Study by members Catherine Racowsky, Russ Hauser and Paige Williams, and colleagues, shows a direct effect of Bisphenol-A (BPA) on human egg maturation.
Full article

AM Rush Hour In Beijing by Scott MeltzerDNA Hypomethylation, Ambient Particulate Matter, and Increased Blood Pressure
Understanding the mechanisms linking air pollution exposure to deadly cardiovascular outcomes.

Air-pollution_stackAir Pollution Exposure may increase risk of having child with autism
Groundbreaking new work links risk for autism to exposure to high levels of air pollution during pregnancy

PDExposure to Lead Linked to Dementia in Parkinson’s Disease
Dementia is a major health concern for some patients with Parkinson’s disease, but why some Parkinson’s patients develop dementia and some don’t is not understood. Exposure to lead may be contributing to the problem.

bees2Searching for causes of bee colony collapse
Why are the bees dying?  Associate Professor Alex (Chensheng) Lu’s recent research on colony collapse disorder.
Full article

bangladeshArsenic:  Learning the Effects, Lessening the Impacts in Bangladesh
Inorganic arsenic is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, but its impacts on the human body include cancers, blood vessel and nerve damage,  immune and endocrine system disruption, and harm to developing fetuses and children.  In this article, NIEHS features the work of Center investigators on arsenic exposure in Bangladesh.

pollutionBeijingAir Pollution Exposure Effects Biomarker for Cardiovascular Disease Risk
The effects of particulate matter (PM), the mixture of particles in airborne pollution, on the body remains a major public health concern. This study investigates factors involved in toxicity from airborne particles and a mechanism by which air pollution could lead to cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary disease.