Superfund Toxic Substances-Exposure and Disease


Principal Investigator:
Karl Kelsey

Department of Environmental Health

Dates of Research:
April 1, 2000 — March 31, 2007


Our theme is the understanding and assessment of risk to human health from exposure to hazardous substances. Coming from an interdisciplinary perspective the study will integrate exposure assessment, biologic pathogenesis, and epidemiologic studies. The biomedical studies revolve around three classes of illness: reproductive health, cardio-respiratory health, and cancer. The non-biological studies will relate to the health of the ecosystem and aquatic organisms. The general goal is to evaluate the relation between chemicals in the environment and their relation to human health. Reproductive health is evaluated in relation to environmental exposure to lead, mercury, and related compounds and will also assess the use of calcium supplements to minimize the adverse effects of lead on the fetus. Cardio-respiratory health is evaluated in relation to occupational exposure to fuel oil ash. The occurrence of cancer is being evaluated in relation to arsenic in drinking water supplies. The study has many goals including the development of an approach for exposure assessment and health evaluation in the community that will enable enlightened interaction between scientists and the community.