The Health Studies Branch investigates water-related non-infectious contamination and health risks (e.g. metals, pesticides, nitrates, toxic chemicals) to identify hazardous exposures and develop recommendations to minimize exposure and health risks to the public. The investigations may be conducted as an emergency response investigation (e.g. outbreak response) or as planned research, developed to assess known water-related exposures, evaluate emerging exposures, and determine potential health risks.
Many non-infectious water contaminants could threaten human health. Common water contaminants and their associated health risks are listed on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Drinking Water contaminants website. Because the EPA regulates community water systems, the majority of our investigations focus drinking water sources outside the EPA regulations, such as private wells and surface water. Working with local, state, tribal, federal, and international partners, we apply our research findings to develop recommendations and interventions to decrease population health risks.