Environmental Exposure Research
Research Funded by NIEHS Grants - Division of Extramural Research and Training
Single or multiple environmental exposures throughout the lifespan can influence the prevalence and severity of diseases. NIEHS-funded researchers are studying the health effects of exposure to air pollution, endocrine disruptors, nanomaterials, and other contaminants. Grantees are also identifying critical windows of susceptibility, studying combined exposures, and developing new ways to measure personal environmental exposures over time.
- Air Pollution
NIEHS grantees are investigating the role that air pollution plays in various diseases and are identifying individuals and groups of people who are the most susceptible to this pollution. Scientists are also working to improve detection and measurement of air pollutants.
- Endocrine Disruptors
Chemicals known as endocrine disruptors can mimic or interfere with hormones in the body and are found in everyday product such as plastic bottles and food can liners. Scientists supported by the NIEHS are working to understand how endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol A (BPA) influence human health.
- Exposure Biology and the Exposome
NIEHS-funded exposure biology researchers are looking at collections of environmental exposures rather than single events and are also working to measure exposures more precisely than previously possible. From 2007-2010, research on exposure biology and genetics was coordinated through the Genes, Environment, and Health Initiative.
Research has shown that people have many different contaminants in their body at one time. Scientists are working to understand the implications of these chemical mixtures, which can sometimes produce health affects greater than each chemical would alone.
Nanotechnology is yielding exciting advances and applications in medicine, industry, and consumer products. Researchers funded by NIEHS are studying the potential health impacts of nanomaterials and are also using nanomaterials to develop ways to better detect and remove contaminants from the environment.