• 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.


Dr. David Spink
Dr. David Spink
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Dr. David Carpenter
Dr. David Carpenter
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Recent News


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 am-4 pm

Virtual: Monday - Friday, 8 am-4:30 pm