People are exposed to a multitude of environmental toxicants through the air we breathe, the food and water we consume, and the products we use in our home or on our bodies. Scientists work to understand the implications of these complex chemical mixtures, which can sometimes produce health effects greater than each chemical would alone.
What Is NIEHS Doing?
Historically, exposure research has studied the health effects of single chemicals at specific times. But more recent research by NIEHS-funded scientists examines environmental exposures in ways that more closely represent the mixture of exposures that we experience in modern life.
Researchers examine how these mixtures and their components interact in cells, animals, and humans to determine health effects. They develop innovative statistical methods for assessing health effects of mixtures and characterizing real-life exposures. Examples of these complex mixtures may include (but are not limited to) phthalates, metals, volatile organic compounds, perfluorinated compounds, polycyclic aromatic compounds, endocrine disrupting compounds, as well as the health effects of environmental chemicals and non-chemical stressors (e.g., noise, temperature, social factors, lack of health care, socioeconomic stressors, and circadian rhythm disruption).
The NIEHS Superfund Research Program also supports research of mixtures on human health and the environment.
For additional information on what NIEHS grantees are doing, visit our Who We Fund tool.
Workshops and Meetings
- October 14, 2020 – Powering Research Through Innovative Methods for Mixtures in Epidemiology (PRIME) Program Meeting
- April 29 – 30, 2019 – Powering Research Through Innovative Methods for Mixtures in Epidemiology (PRIME) Program Meeting
- April 3 – 4, 2018 – Understanding the Combined Effects of Environmental Chemical and Non-Chemical Stressors: Atherosclerosis as a Model
- June 2016 - Advances in Epidemiological Approaches to Assessing Health Effects of Environmental Mixtures. Pre-conference workshop at the 2016 Congress of the Americas meeting
- July 13 – 14, 2015 – Statistical Approaches for Assessing Health Effects of Environmental Chemical Mixtures in Epidemiology Studies