Philippe Grandjean
Adjunct Faculty

Philippe Grandjean

Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health

Environmental Health


Dr. Grandjean is an environmental epidemiologist whose research focuses on the long-term impacts of developmental exposure to environmental chemicals. In the mid-1980s, he initiated studies on marine contaminants in the Faroe Islands, where prospective birth cohort studies at first emphasized neurotoxicity, especially from methylmercury. More recent projects have examined general development and immunotoxicity in birth cohort subjects followed so far up to age 22 years. The results have had substantial public policy impact and inspired downward revisions of methylmercury exposure limits internationally. Other studies in the Faroes target age-related functional deficits and degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and cardiovascular disease, in regard to life-time exposure to methylmercury and persistent lipophilic contaminants. Research abroad also includes studies of pesticide neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption in children with prenatal exposures from their mother's work in greenhouses during pregnancy. Additional efforts relate to fluoride neurotoxicity; metal toxicology; biomarker development and validation; endocrine disruption caused by organochlorine substances; and carcinogenicity of exposure to zeolite and other mineral fibers. Occupational health studies have included research on percutaneous absorption of chemicals, carcinogenicity of fluoride exposure, and neurotoxicity of lead. Additional publications are on research ethics, genetic susceptibility, the setting of exposure limits, and the impact of the precautionary principle on prevention and research.



Exploring how ‘forever chemicals’ may harm immune function

Mounting evidence suggests that widely used chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) interfere with immune system function. Experts are concerned that exposure to these chemicals could diminish the immune system’s ability to fight a host of infectious…

PFAS exposure linked with worse COVID-19 outcomes

People who had elevated blood levels of a toxic chemical called perfluorobutanoic acid had an increased risk of a more severe course of COVID-19 than those who did not have elevated levels, according to a new study led…

The dangers of ‘secret’ chemicals

Chemicals such as perfluorinated substances (PFASs) and certain pesticides are among the most dangerous to human health because people have been unwittingly exposed to them for years, according to an expert from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public…