• Student in lab coat working at desk Student in lab coat working at desk

    Environmental Health Sciences


The Department of Environmental Health Sciences is a joint venture between the New York State Department of Health and the University at Albany where laboratory scientists and population scientists collaborate together in addressing a broad range of environmental health issues.

There are different forms of environmental stresses that can affect the health of all animals and plants. Over the centuries global health has been improving but health disparities continue to exist and some technologies have led to alterations of our air, water and soil, which can affect the health of susceptible populations. The anthropogenic increases and redistributions of environmental chemicals have caused physical modifications apparent as “climate change” with direct and indirect effects on health such as more extreme fluctuations in temperature and more widespread and divergent dissemination of pathogens.

The Department of Environmental Health Sciences pursues collaborative research activities to better understand the collective and continuous exposures to environmental stresses (biological, chemical, physical and psychological) that affect health at all stages of life. Fetuses, infants, and the elderly are especially susceptible to environmental stressors. In our department, we have environmental chemists, who perform qualitative and quantitative analyses of the chemical and physical stressors in the environment and biological specimens; toxicologists, who assess the effects of environmental stressors on physiological processes and induction of disorders; and epidemiologists and biostatisticians, who evaluate the multiplicities of genetics and the lifetime environmental influences on health. Studies address why certain populations are more vulnerable due to genetics, age, sex, diet, lifestyle, and family and environmental history.




Environmental Health Sciences MS | STEM |

Public Health MPH | +JD Option |

Public Health MPH | +JD Option |
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Public Health MPH | +JD Option |
Public Health MPH | +JD Option |

Recent News

Featured Research Projects

Capital Region FRESH

The Capital Region FRESH project is a community-engaged research project that aims to quantify environmental, nutritional, and health impacts of the food recovery and redistribution system in the Capital Region, and ascertain impacts under proposed policy scenarios. The interdisciplinary team has expertise approaching food system questions via lenses of environmental health, epidemiology, environmental engineering, social and behavioral health, and policy. Learn more about Capital Region FRESH.

Bowls of fresh fruit and veggies sit on a table.
A kitchen faucet with running water.

The PFAS Multi-Site Health Study

Researchers at the University at Albany and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) received funding from ATSDR to study PFAS and its possible relationship to health among those exposed to PFAS-contaminated drinking water in the village of Hoosick Falls and Hoosick area, and the city of Newburgh. The researchers will enroll 1,000 adults and 300 children from both communities to evaluate their PFAS blood and urine levels, health measures like thyroid hormone levels and liver function, and medical history to better understand how PFAS may affect health.

The Upstate KIDS Study

The Upstate KIDS study is a collaborative project between the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the New York State Department of Health, and the University at Albany School of Public Health. It tracks the growth, motor, and social development of children given the increasing use of infertility treatment, occurrence of maternal obesity and pregnancy complications, and rising maternal age at birth. From 2008 to 2010, over 5000 mothers and their 6000 children born from the 57 counties of New York State (exclusive of New York City) joined this important study.

A recent Upstate Kids study, led by School of Public Health professor Dr. Erin Bell, found that children born via cesarean delivery have an increased risk of developing asthma and food allergies because they miss out on protective bacteria from the mother. Another recent finding includes that children conceived with infertility treatments do not experience delayed development. 

Students working with child as a part of the Upstate Kids Study
Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Rebecca McCarthy
Administrative Manager
Room 153

1 University Place
Rensselaer, NY 12144
United States

Office Hours

On Site: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Virtual: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.