Environmental Health

Toxic Substances Hydrology Program

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program (TSHP) supports specialized teams of hydrologists, geologists, and chemists who develop and apply advanced laboratory methods and field investigations to understand how contaminants and pathogens enter and move through the environment. In collaboration with the Contaminant Biology Program TSHP works with our stakeholders within and outside U.S. Department of Interior, including other government agencies, industry, NGOs, academia and others, who tell us we are uniquely capable of helping them protect that most precious of resources, health. We do this by filling the data gaps they have prioritized for us.

What's New?

United States  Congress Seal

Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2019

See pages 18-21 for information on the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology and Contaminant Biology Programs

United States House of Representatives Seal

Department of the Interior Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2019

See pages 28-30 for information on the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology and Contaminant Biology Programs

United States House of Representatives Seal

Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Budget

See pages 31 and 89 for information on the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology and Contaminant Biology Programs

U.S. Department of Interior Seal

The President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2019

See page BH 54 and BH 56 for specifics on USGS Environmental Health Mission Area programs

U.S. Department of Interior Seal

The Department of Interior Budget Justification for Fiscal Year 2019

To find information on the USGS Environmental Health Mission Area go to pages 11, 15, 20, and 49

Science Feature Articles

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GeoHealth Newsletter

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GeoHealth Newsletter
Volume 15, No. 2, 2018

GeoHealth is the U.S. Geological Survey's Environmental Health Newsletter.

Science Teams

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Find out what our multidisciplinary teams of scientists are up to.
 

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Capabilities

Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer - GCMS

Find out about our science capabilities and our laboratories.
 

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Our Mission

"Everything we do is designed to safeguard the Nation's health, economy, and resources"

A search of the internet and news cycles on any given day indicates that the American public, health organizations, industry, and government agencies want to know if contaminants and pathogens in the environment pose a risk to the health of humans, pets, livestock, or wildlife.

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For example, hunters and anglers want to know if contaminants or pathogens in the environment are harming fish or game, and whether these animals are safe to eat. When land resource managers use chemicals (for example, to suppress dusts or wildfire or to control invasive plants and animals), they must understand if these chemicals pose hazards to the health of the public, fish, wildlife, or vegetation.

The Environmental Health Program’s mission is to understand the actual as opposed to the perceived risk of contaminants and pathogens using impartial science that is not driven by regulatory or policy processes.

We provide answers to the following questions:

  • Where do contaminants and pathogens come from?
  • What happens to them once they enter the environment?
  • Does their toxicity decrease or increase?
  • How do humans, pets, livestock, and wildlife come into contact with them?
  • At what levels do they begin to pose a health risk?
  • What are their actual health effects?

If there is not a risk, we report it to the public and other stakeholders and we redirect our attention to more pressing science issues. If actual risks exist our science informs decisions to facilitate resource use with balanced strategies to minimize or mitigate that risk.

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Collaborative Programs

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Contaminant Biology Program

The Contaminant Biology Program (CBP) supports specialized teams of toxicologists and biologists who develop and apply advanced laboratory methods and field investigations to understand how contaminants and pathogens in the environment effect the health of biota. In collaboration with the Toxic Substances Hydrology Program CBP works with our stakeholders within and outside U.S. Department of Interior, including other government agencies, industry, NGOs, academia and others, who tell us we are uniquely capable of helping them protect that most protect that most precious of resources, health. We do this by filling the data gaps they have prioritized for us.

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