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Air, dust, and soil contaminants and pathogens
Massive sandstorm blowing off the northwest African desert. (Norman Kuring)
Air, dust, and soil contaminants and pathogens
Drinking Water Contaminants
Consumption of Bioaccumulative Contaminants
Vector Borne and Zoonotic (animal to human) Disease
Pathogens in Recreational Waters
Animal Sentinels of Human Health

Human Health

Public health problems caused by environmental contamination and emerging infectious diseases are a growing concern worldwide. These public health threats are affected by the relationship between people and the physical, chemical, and biological nature of our natural environments. Population growth and the associated pressures of development are increasing the difficulties associated with sustaining effective public health practices and policies. Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases, water contamination, airborne contaminants, bioaccumulative contaminants in the food chain, and environmental threats to public health the world over require marshalling of all our scientific knowledge and know-how to develop new solutions. Understanding environmental and ecological health is a prerequisite to protecting public health. As the Nation's natural science agency, USGS can play a significant role in providing scientific knowledge and information that will improve our understanding of the environmental contributions to disease and human health.

Information on USGS Human Health Related Activities

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The Geohealth Newsletter

Volume 11, No. 1, 2014

First page of USGS Fact Sheet 20123142
New Fact Sheet: Environmental Health Science at the U.S. Geological Survey

USGS environmental health science focuses on the environment-health interface. Research characterizes the processes that affect the interaction among the physical environment, the living environment, and people, as well as the factors that affect ecological and human exposure to disease agents and the resulting toxicologic or infectious disease.
Cover of USGS Circular 1383-E
U.S. Geological Survey Environmental Health Science Strategy Published

The report describes a 10-year strategy that encompasses the portfolio of USGS environmental health science.


A Nigerian man with an ore crusher
Gold, Lead and Death in Nigeria: EARTH Magazine

Scientists from the USGS and other agenicies collaborated to understand an outbreak of lethal lead poisoning in Nigeria.


Fact Sheet 2010-3004 Cover Image
USGS Science Serves Public Health: USGS Fact Sheet 2010-3004

New fact sheet is published on the USGS's role in safeguarding public health. The USGS provides natural science information to health researchers, policy makers, and the public.


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Air, Dust, and Soil contaminants and Pathogens
Drinking Water Contaminants
Consumption of Bioaccumulative Contaminants
Vector Borne and Zoonotic (animal to human) Disease
Contact With Recreational Waters
Animal Sentinels of Human Health

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