» Medical Health

Human Consumption of Chemical and Pathogenic Contaminants

USGS conducts monitoring and research on Bioaccumulative contaminants in the environment, biomagnificantion in the food chain and the effects of bioaccumulative contaminants on fish and wildlife. USGS has provided information that is used by states to establish fish consumption advisories. Read More

Chemical and Pathogenic Contaminant Exposure by Drinking Water

Safe drinking-water supplies are critical for protecting public health. Drinking water treatment and monitoring technologies are used by public water utilities to assure compliance with existing federal and state drinking water standards. However industrial, agricultural, medical, and other societal needs continuously require a balance of new chemical development as well as termination of older chemicals. Some of these new and legacy chemicals as well as some water-borne pathogens remain understudied and can inadvertently enter our environment and threaten the quality of our water supplies. Therefore the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) evaluates the efficacy of existing drinking water standards in light of emerging occurrence, toxicity, and other data while looking forward to the need for new standards and the possibility of raising or lowering existing standards . Read More

Potential Contaminants and Pathogens in Air, Dusts, and Soils

A variety of human health problems have been linked to exposures to dusts, other atmospheric aerosols, and soils. For example, inhalation exposures to asbestos, silica, and some metal-rich dusts in industrial or occupational settings have been recognized for decades as triggers for disease. Health concerns also arise from exposures to other anthropogenic atmospheric particulates, such as automobile exhaust, urban air pollution, smelting and coal combustion byproducts, and debris from disasters such as the World Trade Center collapse. Increasingly, environmental exposures to dusts and other atmospheric particulates (such as naturally-occurring asbestos, silica, volcanic ash, volcanic gas condensates, wildfire smoke, and dusts containing pathogens) are also being recognized as potential health concerns. Soils are recognized for their potential to affect human health, both as sources for deleterious dusts and pathogens, and, where contaminated by human activities, as sources for toxicity via ingestion exposures. A variety of USGS research activities are working to understand better the links between these geologic materials and human health. Read More

Medical Facilities: Waste

Hospitals, clinics, dentists, veterinarians, and mortuaries all handle medical waste. But they are also subject to the same solid waste, pesticide application, hazardous waste, drinking water, and wastewater requirements other types of facilities must comply with. Read More

Safety Facts You Should Know If You Work With Machine Fluids

Machinists are usually well aware of the safety hazards they face working on moving equipment. Less well known are the health hazards associated with the use of machining fluids. For example, in 1981 almost 40% of the workers at a large machining plant developed a severe flu-like illness caused by microbes that grew in the coolants or parts washers of one department and were spread throughout the plant by airborne oil mist. The microbes were related to those that cause Legionnaire’s Disease. Since 1992, there have been at least eight recorded outbreaks of Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis. (Scroll down for information. We apologize, but this is the best copy available.) Read More

Hazard Evaluation System and Information Service (HESIS) Publications

California Department of Health Services, Hazard Evaluation System and Information Service (HESIS) Publications, Occupational Health Branch (OHB). HESIS offers California workers, employers, and health professionals up-to-date practical answers to questions about the health effects of workplace hazards. HESIS publications are available free of charge in limited quantities and may be reproduced for free distribution. You can read or download most of them here, or order printed copies by calling (510) 622-4328 or using the form below. Read More

NIOSH Safety and Health Topic: Asthma and Allergies

This NIOSH Safety and Health Topic provides information regarding asthma and allergies, with links to many publications on these topics. Read More

NIOSH Topic Page: Bloodborne Infectious Diseases: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus

This NIOSH Safety and Health Topic website provides information regarding the following bloodborne infectious diseases: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus. The safety and health topic website describes how exposures to blood and other body fluids occur across a wide variety of occupations. Read More

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Environmental Health

This site contains information on diseases resulting from the interaction between people and their environment. It is aimed at prevention and includes such things as preparing for a hurricane. Read More

Medline Plus

This site is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. The site provides a variety of information about human health, including the health effects of common environmental toxins. Read More


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