Philippe Grandjean

Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health

Department of Environmental Health

Building 1, room 1312B
665 Huntington Ave
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Phone: 617.384.8907


Philippe Grandjean was born in Denmark in 1950. He graduated with his MD from the University of Copenhagen at age 23, and six years later he defended his doctoral thesis on the ‘Widening perspectives of lead toxicity’. He became Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Southern Denmark in 1982. A Fulbright Senior Scholarship award brought him to Mt.Sinai Hospital in New York, and he later served as Adjunct Professor of Neurology and Environmental Health at Boston University. In 2003, he became Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health at Harvard University. In 2004, he received an unusual recognition – the Mercury Madness Award for excellence in science in the public interest, from eight US environmental organizations. He has also received the Science Communication Award from the University of Southern Denmark, and in 2015, he received the Bernardino Ramazzini Award for “his long career conducting and promoting environmental health research, especially his groundbreaking work on the effects of methylmercury and other environmental toxins affecting children and for his tireless advocacy of the need to protect future generations from the devastating effects of neuro- and developmental toxins.” In 2016, Grandjean received the John F. Goldsmith Award from the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology for his sustained and outstanding contributions to the knowledge and practice of environmental epidemiology.

He lives in Copenhagen, Denmark and in Cambridge, MA, and travels widely to study environmental problems and to examine children whose lives have been affected by pollution, more specifically, the delayed effects of developmental exposure to environmental chemicals.

In 2017, the Superfund Research Program awarded a center grant to HSPH jointly with the University of Rhode Island (URI) to study perfluorinated alkylate substances (PFASs): Sources, Transport, Exposure & Effects of PFASs (STEEP), where Professor Rainer Lohmann (URI) and Philippe Grandjean are co-Directors.

His most recent projects examine brain development and immune functions in regard to exposures to environmental pollutants, such as perfluorinated compounds and mercury. The results have inspired downward revisions of methylmercury exposure limits internationally and, most recent, the UN’s Minamata Convention. Other recent studies have targeted age-related functional deficits and degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes in regard to life-time exposure to methylmercury, arsenic, persistent lipophilic contaminants, and perfluorinated compounds. Other efforts relate to biomarker development and validation, endocrine disruption caused by organochlorine substances. adverse effects of fluoride exposure, and the neurotoxicity of lead. Dr. Grandjean has also published on research ethics, genetic susceptibility, the setting of exposure limits, and the impact of the precautionary principle on prevention and research.

Recent News

STEEP: Center news

Web Site: Chemical Brain Drain

Video: Chemical Brain Drain

Open Access publishing: Champion

Book: Only One Chance

Postdoc Position: Research Fellow or Research Associate position in Environmental Epidemiology


(Selected articles from 2012-2019)

Grandjean P. Developmental fluoride neurotoxicity: an updated review. Environ Health 2019; 18: 110.

Julvez J, Smith GD, Ring S, Grandjean P. A Birth Cohort Study about the Genetic Modification of Prenatal Methylmercury Association with Child Cognitive Development. Am J Epidemiol 2019; 188: 1784-1793.

Mie A, Rudén C, Grandjean P. Safety of safety evaluation of pesticides: developmental neurotoxicity of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl. Environ Health 2018; 17: 77.

Budtz-Jørgensen E, Grandjean P. Application of benchmark analysis for mixed contaminant exposures: Mutual adjustment of perfluoroalkylate substances associated with immunotoxicity. PLoS One 2018; 13(10): e0205388.

Grandjean P, Bellanger M. Calculation of the disease burden associated with environmental chemical exposures: application of toxicological information in health economic estimation. Environ Health 2017; 16: 123.

Mie A, Andersen HR, Gunnarsson S, Kahl J, Kesse-Guyot E, Rembiałkowska E, Quaglio G, Grandjean P. Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture: a comprehensive review. Environ Health 2017; 16: 111.

Liu G, Dhana K, Furtado JD, Rood J, Zong G, Liang L, Qi L, Bray GA, Smith SR, DeJonge L, Coull B, Grandjean P, Sun Q. Perfluoroalkyl Substances and Changes in Body Weight and Resting Metabolic Rate in Response to Weight-Loss Diets: A Prospective Study. PLoS Medicine 2018; 15: e1002502.

Grandjean P. Paracelsus Revisited: The dose concept in a complex world. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2016; 119: 126-32.

Grandjean P. Learning from Bernardino Ramazzini, a tribute to the Magister from Carpi and to the Fellows of the Collegium Ramazzini. Eur J Oncol 2016: 21: 51-60.

Yorifuji T, Kato T, Ohta H, Bellinger DC, Matsuoka K, Grandjean P. Neurological and neuropsychological functions in adults with a history of developmental arsenic poisoning from contaminated milk powder. Neurotoxicol Teratol 2016; 53: 75-80.

Bellanger M, Demeneix B, Grandjean P, Zoeller RT, Trasande L. Neurobehavioral deficits, diseases and associated costs of exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in the European Union. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2015; 100: 1256-66.

Grandjean P, Landrigan PJ. Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity. Lancet Neurol 2014; 13: 330-8.

Balbus JM, Barouki R, Birnbaum LS, Etzel RA, Gluckman PD, Grandjean P, Hancock C, Hanson MA, Heindel JJ, Hoffman K, Jensen GK, Keeling A, Neira M, Rabadán-Diehl C, Ralston J, Tang KC. Early-life prevention of non-communicable diseases (Comment). Lancet 2013; 381: 3-4.

Budtz-Jørgensen E, Bellinger D, Lanphear B, Grandjean P, International Pooled Lead Study Investigators. An international pooled analysis for obtaining a Benchmark dose for environmental lead exposure in children. Risk Anal 2013; 33: 450-61.

Grandjean P, Andersen EW, Budtz-Jørgensen E, Nielsen F, Mølbak K, Weihe P, Heilmann C. Decreased serum vaccine antibody concentrations in children exposed to perfluorinated compounds. JAMA 2012; 307: 391-7.