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 programs allow students to earn concentrations in environmental health or risk assessment and apply these concepts to public health practice.

 

Shell cracker plant confrirms a sweet-smelling odor came from its Beaver County facility

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER - "Fact...
Shell cracker plant confrirms a sweet-smelling odor came from its Beaver County facility

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER - "Factual identification of the actual agents responsible for or released in association with the reported smells should be a high priority, in the absence of which assigning any potential health risk becomes very problematic," says EOH's James Fabisiak, Breath Project member... (09/30/2021)

Floods Have Swamped the US. The Next Health Problem: Mold

WIRED - A summer of floods me...
Floods Have Swamped the US. The Next Health Problem: Mold

WIRED - A summer of floods means mold and fungi are to follow. Yet we lack proper surveillance systems for mold infections and that leads to a data gap that increases the burden of these infections, particularly on marginalized groups. “We cannot isolate the impact of a natural disaster from histor... (09/27/2021)

Wenzel on the Impact of Code Orange Alert On Our Bodies (video)

KDKA - EOH Chair Sally Wenzel...
Wenzel on the Impact of Code Orange Alert On Our Bodies (video)

KDKA - EOH Chair Sally Wenzel, director of Pitt's Asthma Institute at UPMC, explained that recent weather creates conditions where particulates in our atmosphere can't escape. "These are plumes in the air that damage the lungs and the blood vessels of people, especially vulnerable people," said Wen... (07/12/2021)

A 'space race' level attack on future public health crises will involve Pittsburgh

U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - ...
A 'space race' level attack on future public health crises will involve Pittsburgh

U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Maureen Lichtveld's nearly 40 years in environmental public health has focused on a central principle: how to prepare for the next big crisis. "The COVID-19 pandemic, as the limited coverage for childhood vaccinations [in the past], is a public health problem, requiring... (06/14/2021)

Schuyler and Wenzel find residence in redlined neighborhoods linked with lower lung function

HEALIO - Adults with asthma l...
Schuyler and Wenzel find residence in redlined neighborhoods linked with lower lung function

HEALIO - Adults with asthma living in neighborhoods that were deprioritized for mortgage investments in the 1930s, or redlined, had worse lung function than those living in non-redlined areas, Alexander Schuyler (EOH '23) and EOH Chair Sally Wenzel found in a cross-sectional study. "Black communiti... (06/02/2021)