Directory Calendar News Careers Alumni Giving

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.
See our centers
our faculty

Our Faculty

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

 

Goldstein profiled in Risk Analysis

RISK ANALYSIS - Before joinin...
Goldstein profiled in Risk Analysis

RISK ANALYSIS - Before joining Pitt Public Health in 2001, BERNARD GOLDSTEIN, EOH professor and former dean, obtained his medical degree from NYU. In 1980, he was recruited by Rutgers Medical School to help with the increase in public and political concerns about environmental pollution. Later, he ... (10/01/2018)

Sally Wenzel receives 2018 Trailblazer award from Carnegie Science Center

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The...
Sally Wenzel receives 2018 Trailblazer award from Carnegie Science Center

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The Carnege Science Center held their Ladies Hospital Aid Society Gala last week. EOH chair SALLY WENZEL and 5 other doctors were honored with the 2018 Trailblazer award for advancing the cause of medicine in their fields. Each of them were surprised with $20,000 to help f... (09/18/2018)

Does formaldehyde cause leukemia? Goldstein speaks on a report linking the two

PBS - After controlling for c...
Does formaldehyde cause leukemia? Goldstein speaks on a report linking the two

PBS - After controlling for certain lifestyle factors, a 2010 investigation found that workers exposed to 0.6 to 2.5 parts per million of formaldehyde had fewer red and white blood cells and a higher prevalence of DNA mutations in the blood stem cells. BERNARD GOLDSTEIN, EOH professor said the muta... (08/29/2018)

Indiana steel mill emits 18,000 pounds of lead a year, Fabisiak comments

CHICAGO TRIBUNE - The Arcelor...
Indiana steel mill emits 18,000 pounds of lead a year, Fabisiak comments

CHICAGO TRIBUNE - The ArcelorMittal steel mill at the Port of Indiana in Burns Harbor emitted 173,000 pounds of benzene during 2016, making it the nation’s largest industrial source of a volatile chemical known to cause leukemia. More could be on the way but regulators can't explain where the steel... (08/03/2018)

Is there a connection between Pittsburgh's high rates of asthma and autoimmune disorders?

Environmental Health News - P...
Is there a connection between Pittsburgh's high rates of asthma and autoimmune disorders?

Environmental Health News - Pittsburgh would be an ideal place for further study on the links between air pollution, asthma, and autoimmune disease, says EOH chair SALLY WENZEL. "There's a lot of evidence now that what you breathe may impact your lungs in many ways, and could actually start an auto... (06/12/2018)

 

Thu
10/18
EOH Journal Club
The association between cumulative cadmium intake and osteoporosis and risk of fracture EOH Journal Club
The association between cumulative cadmium intake and osteoporosis and risk of fracture
Thu 10/18 11:00AM - 12:00PM


Heng Bai will present The association between cumulative cadmium intake and osteoporosis and risk of fracture in a Chinese population by Xiao Chen, Zhongqiu Wang, Guoying Zhu, Gunnar F. Nordberg, Taiyi Jin & Xiaoqiang Ding.

Bone is one of the target organs for cadmium toxicity. However, few studies have shown the association between cumulative cadmium intake and prevalence of osteoporosis and bone fracture. In the present study, the authors evaluated the association between cumulative cadmium intake and osteoporosis and risk of fracture in a Chinese population.

Thu
10/25
EOH Journal Club
EOH Journal Club Seminar - Fall 2018 EOH Journal Club
EOH Journal Club Seminar - Fall 2018
Thu 10/25 11:00AM - 12:00PM


Presenter: Amrita Sahu

Paper: Extracellular Vesicles Provide a Means for Tissue Crosstalk during Exercise

Authors: Martin Whitham, Benjamin L. Parker, Martin Friedrichsen, ..., David E. James, Jørgen F.P. Wojtaszewski, Mark A. Febbraio

Abstract: Exercise stimulates the release of molecules into the circulation, supporting the concept that inter-tissue signaling proteins are important mediators of adaptations to exercise. Recognizing that many circulating proteins are packaged in extracellular vesicles (EVs), we employed quantitative proteomic techniques to characterize the exercise-induced secretion of EV-contained proteins. Following a 1-hr bout of cycling exercise in healthy humans, we observed an increase in the circulation of over 300 proteins, with a notable enrichment of several classes of proteins that compose exosomes and small vesicles. Pulse-chase and intravital imaging experiments suggested EVs liberated by exercise have a propensity to localize in the liver and can transfer their protein cargo. Moreover, by employing arteriovenous balance studies across the contracting human limb, we identified several novel candidate myokines, released into circulation independently of classical secretion. These data identify a new paradigm by which tissue crosstalk during exercise can exert systemic biological effects.
Fri
10/26
EOH Seminar Series
Pediatric Neurodevelopment - Manganese Exposure-Community Research - Erin Haynes - Univ of Cinn EOH Seminar Series
Pediatric Neurodevelopment - Manganese Exposure-Community Research - Erin Haynes - Univ of Cinn
Fri 10/26 1:00PM - 2:00PM
A719 Public Health

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

Presenter: Kimberly Garrett
Paper: Impact of silver, gold, and iron oxide nanoparticles on cellular response to tumor necrosis factor
Authors: Kamil Brzóska, Iwona Grądzka, Marcin Kruszewski,

Abstract: Metallic nanomaterials are utilized in an increasing number of applications in medicine and industry. Their general toxicity was tested in numerous reports both in vitro and in vivo but limited data exist on how nanomaterials affect the activity of cellular signaling pathways activated by growth factors and cytokines. The aim of the present work was to test the hypothesis predicting that silver, gold and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles may interfere with cellular signaling activated by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and change the final cellular outcome of TNF action. Such interference may result in disruption of homeostasis and contribute to the development of malignancies such as cancer or autoimmune diseases. Experiments were performed on HepG2 and A549 cell lines. We did not observe any interaction between nanoparticles and TNF at the level of clonogenic growth, apoptosis/necrosis induction or cell cycle. At all these endpoints, the effects of TNF and nanoparticles were additive. In contrast, gene expression analysis revealed synergistic effects. A group of genes was significantly affected only by simultaneous treatment with TNF and nanoparticles and not by any of the factors alone. Observed synergistic effect on IL10 and IL8 expression seems to be of particular importance since these cytokines are often expressed by tumor cells to inhibit tumor-targeted immune response. The observed synergistic effects of TNF and nanoparticles on cytokines expression may have significant consequences for tissue homeostasis and tumor promotion and therefore should be taken into account during development of new nanoparticle-based anticancer therapies.
Thu
11/8
EOH Journal Club
EOH Journal Club Seminar - Fall 2018 EOH Journal Club
EOH Journal Club Seminar - Fall 2018
Thu 11/8 11:00AM - 12:00PM
4140 Public Health, Young Seminar Room

Presenter: Tengziyi (Grace) Ge
Paper: Dioscin Exerts Protective Effects Against Crystalline Silica-induced Pulmonary Fibrosis in Mice
Authors: Chao Li, Yiping Lu, Sitong Du, Siyi Li, Yiting Zhang, Fangwei Liu, Ying Chen, Dong Weng and Jie Chen

Abstract: Inhalation of crystalline silica particles leads to pulmonary fibrosis, eventually resulting in respiratory failure and death. There are few effective drugs that can delay the progression of this disease; thus, patients with silicosis are usually only offered supportive care. Dioscin, a steroidal saponin, exhibits many biological activities and health benefits including its protective effects against hepatic fibrosis. However, the effect of dioscin on silicosis is unknown.

Methods: We employed experimental mouse mode of silicosis. Different doses of dioscin were gavaged to the animals 1 day after crystalline silica instillatin to see the effect of dioscin on crystalline silica induced pulmonary fibrosis. Also, we used RAW264.7 and NIH-3T3 cell lines to explore dioscin effects
on macrophages and fibroblasts. Dioscin was also oral treatment but 10 days after crystalline silica instillation to see its effect on established pulmonary fibrosis.

Results:
Dioscin treatment reduced pro-inflammation and pro-fibrotic cytokine secretion by modulating innate and adaptive immune responses. It also reduced the recruitment of fibrocytes, protected epithelial cells from crystalline silica injury , inhibited transforming growth factor beta/Smad3 signaling and fibroblast activation. Together, these effects delayed the progression of crystalline silica-induced pulmonary fibrosis. The mechanism by which dioscin treatment alleviated CS-induced inflammation appeared to be via the reduction of macrophage, B lymphocyte, and T lymphocte infiltration into lung. Dioscin inhibits macrophages and fibroblasts from secreting pro-inflammatory cytokines and may also function as a modulator of T helper cells responses, concurrent with attenuated phosphorylation of the apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1-p38/c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway. Also, dioscin could block the phosphorylation of Smad3 in fibroblast. Oral treatment of dioscin could also effectively postpone the progression of established silicosis.

Conclusion: Oral treatment dioscin delays crystalline silica-induced pulmonary fibrosis and exerts pulmonary protective effects in mice. Dioscin may be a novel and potent candidate for protection against crystalline silica-induced pulmonary fibrosis.
© 2018 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

Login  |  Sitemap