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Environmental and Occupational Health
environmental and occupational health

Environmental and Occupational Health

Who's Making Sure
Our Environment
Isn't Making Us Sick?
Learn more
our research centers

Our Research Centers

Get involved in our research centers, where you can join a research project or help translate findings into practice and policy.
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our faculty

Our Faculty

Meet the faculty who will teach and mentor you, and learn about the innovative research projects they're directing.
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our alumni

Our Alumni

Read about what our graduates are doing in the environmental and occupational health field.
Meet our alumni

Environmental and Occupational Health

The Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) Department has a sound reputation as a leader in training students to...
  • Identify agents that affect health
  • Study the long-term effects of environmental and occupational health risks
  • Determine the molecular mechanisms of toxic agents that contribute to the development of certain illnesses and diseases.

Environmental health specialists help find ways to promote healthier environments and minimize risks that increase the incidence of respiratory, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal diseases, asthma, lower respiratory infections, road traffic injuries, poisonings, and drownings.
Occupational health specialists study all aspects of health and safety in the workplace. From exposure to toxins on the job, to workplace violence and lifting injuries, occupational hazards create an enormous health burden, unnecessary pain and suffering, and economic loss in the workplace.

Find a research program for your interests

Many EOH faculty members collaborate with basic sciences and clinical investigators throughout other departments at Pitt Public Health, and the University of Pittsburgh schools of medicine and engineering. Students and faculty perform studies on the principles and practice of environmental health ranging from basic research at the cellular and molecular level to applied translational studies of human disease, population exposure, and public health studies.

In addition, faculty and students work with local governmental organizations, such as the Allegheny County Health Department, the Pittsburgh Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority to study and improve the environmental health of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Pursue a career in environmental and occupational health

Doctoral degree graduates are prepared to work in laboratory-based academic settings as faculty or postdoctoral fellows and become prominent members of government agencies and independent industries. Recent graduates have obtained fellowships at top-tier academic institutions, positions with
the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and in firms conducting chemical and environmental risk assessment.

Master's degree graduates play prominent roles as environmental/occupational health practitioners in various settings, including industry, hospitals, government agencies, and private practice.

Degrees

The EOH Department offers two degrees in the environmental health sciences, providing a broad theoretical and practical education for positions in academia, industry, or government. The multiple tracks provide flexibility in acquiring advance training in toxicology, environmental biophysics, molecular and cellular pathobiology, risk assessment, and exposure science. Our professional degree program allows students to earn concentrations in environmental health or risk assessment and apply these concepts to public health practice. Our doctorate-level professional degree program in environmental health sciences provides education for those who aspire to high-level administration or decision-making leadership positions.

Join the entire Pitt Public Health community in support of the second Day of Giving on Pitt’s Founder’s Day, February 28, 2018. 

Participation is the primary goal, so every gift counts! 

Support today....

 

Goldstein on the EU's distortion of public health and effects on US agricultural produce

THE HILL - The European Union...
Goldstein on the EU's distortion of public health and effects on US agricultural produce

THE HILL - The European Union's unclear definitions of the Precautionary Principles allows them to ban trade of goods such as beef previously treated with growth hormones and GMO grains without demonstration that such goods cause any health risks. EOH's BERNARD GOLDSTEIN says, "The US is not withou... (01/31/2018)

EPI's Adibi to address 2018 One Health One Community Symposium at Phipps

EPI's JENNIFER ADIBI has been...
EPI's Adibi to address 2018 One Health One Community Symposium at Phipps

EPI's JENNIFER ADIBI has been announced as a featured speaker for the 2018 One Health One Community Symposium at Phipps Conservatory.  Taking Place on March 7 & 8, this year's event will center on the theme "Health Impacts: Chemicals of Concern in the Environment," with a special focus on endocrine... (01/19/2018)

Goldstein advises Dow Chemical on sustainability

SUSTAINABLE BRANDS - The Dow C...
Goldstein advises Dow Chemical on sustainability

SUSTAINABLE BRANDS - The Dow Chemical Company counts EOH's BERNARD GOLDSTEIN among its 8-member Sustainability External Advisory Council (SEAC),  the first of its kind in the petrochemical industry. The council has a significant influence on Dow’s approach to sustainability and environment, health a... (12/20/2017)

Kagan helps find mechanism of dendritic cell needed for antitumor immune response

DRUG TARGET REVIEW - A team in...
Kagan helps find mechanism of dendritic cell needed for antitumor immune response

DRUG TARGET REVIEW - A team including EOH researcher VALERIAN KAGAN has revealed the mechanism causing defective function of tumour-associated dendritic cells, explaining why they’re ineffective in inducing antitumor immune responses and effective cancer treatment. The findings could lead to new str... (12/15/2017)

Goldstein comments on new study findings: Low birth weights linked to fracking sites

STATE IMPACT - Infants born to...
Goldstein comments on new study findings: Low birth weights linked to fracking sites

STATE IMPACT - Infants born to mothers who live very close to natural gas fracking sites have a higher risk of low birth weight, according to a new peer-reviewed study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances . In response to the findings, EOH professor emeritus BERNARD GOLDSTEIN noted t... (12/13/2017)

 

Thu
2/22
EOH Journal Club
EOH Journal Club - Spring 2018 - Arron Chia-Hsin Liu EOH Journal Club
EOH Journal Club - Spring 2018 - Arron Chia-Hsin Liu
Thu 2/22 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Public Health 4140, Young Seminar Room

EOH Journal Club Seminar - Spring 2018
Date: Thursday February 22, 2018
Time: 11am - 12pm
Presenter: Arron Chia-Hsin Liu

Paper: Gut microbiome influences efficacy of PD-1-based immunotherapy against epithelial tumors

Authors: Routy B, Le Chatelier E, et Al.

Abstract: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 axis induce sustained clinical responses in a sizable minority of cancer patients. We found that primary resistance to ICIs can be attributed to abnormal gut microbiome composition. Antibiotics inhibited the clinical benefit of ICIs in patients with advanced cancer. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) from cancer patients who responded to ICIs into germ-free or antibiotic-treated mice ameliorated the antitumor effects of PD-1 blockade, whereas FMT from nonresponding patients failed to do so. Metagenomics of patient stool samples at diagnosis revealed correlations between clinical responses to ICIs and the relative abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila Oral supplementation with A. muciniphila after FMT with nonresponder feces restored the efficacy of PD-1 blockade in an interleukin-12-dependent manner by increasing the recruitment of CCR9+CXCR3+CD4+ T lymphocytes into mouse tumor beds.

Mon
2/26
EOH Lecture
Mitigating Climate Change by Transitioning to a Renewable Resource-Based Economy - Steven Cohen Mitigating Climate Change by Transitioning to a Renewable Resource-Based Economy - Steven Cohen EOH Lecture
Mitigating Climate Change by Transitioning to a Renewable Resource-Based Economy - Steven Cohen
Mon 2/26 2:00PM - 3:00PM
William Pitt Union - Assembly Room

Dr. Steven Cohen of the Earth Institute at Columbia University will discuss how to address the global climate crisis by taking on political, organizational, and financial challenges as we transition economies from fossil fuels to renewable resources. Reserve a seat online for this free lecture in the Pitt Honors College Climate Change Series.

Thu
3/1
EOH Journal Club
EOH Journal Club - Spring 2018 - Heng Bai EOH Journal Club
EOH Journal Club - Spring 2018 - Heng Bai
Thu 3/1 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Public Health 4140, Young Seminar Room

EOH Journal Club Seminar - Spring 2018
Date: Thursday March 1, 2018
Time: 11am - 12pm
Presenter: Heng Bai

Paper: Declining exposures to lead and cadmium contribute to explaining the reduction of cardiovascular mortality in the US population, 1988–2004

Authors: Adrian Ruiz-Hernandez, Ana Navas-Acien, Roberto Pastor-Barriuso, Ciprian M Crainiceanu, Josep Redon, Eliseo Guallar, Maria Tellez-Plaza

Abstract:

Background
Lead and cadmium exposures have markedly declined in the USA following the implementation of large-scale public health policies and could have contributed to the unexplained decline in cardiovascular mortality in US adults. We evaluated the potential contribution of lead and cadmium exposure reductions to explain decreasing cardiovascular mortality trends occurring in the USA from 1988–94 to 1999–2004.

Methods
Prospective study in 15 421 adults ≥40 years old who had participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1988–94 or 1999–2004. We estimated the amount of change in cardiovascular mortality over time that can be independently attributed to the intermediate pathway of changes in blood lead and urine cadmium concentrations.

Results
There was a 42.0% decrease in blood lead and a 31.0% decrease in urine cadmium concentrations. The cardiovascular mortality rate ratio [95% confidence intervals (CIs)] associated with a doubling of metal levels was 1.19 (1.07, 1.31) for blood lead and 1.20 (1.09, 1.32) for urine cadmium. The absolute reduction in cardiovascular deaths comparing 1999–2004 to 1988–94 was 230.7 deaths/100 000 person-years, in models adjusted for traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Among these avoided deaths, 52.0 (95% CI 8.4, 96.7) and 19.4 (4.3, 36.4) deaths/100 000 person-years were attributable to changes in lead and cadmium, respectively.

Conclusions
Environmental declines in lead and cadmium exposures were associated with reductions in cardiovascular mortality in US adults. Given the fact that lead and cadmium remain associated with cardiovascular disease at relatively low levels of exposure, prevention strategies that further minimize exposure to lead and cadmium may be needed.
© 2018 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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