About the Program

CDC’s Health Studies Program (HSP) conducts rapid epidemiologic investigations in response to outbreaks believed to have environmental causes and responds to environmental disasters. The program also conducts extended research studies to define the relationship between human health and environmental exposures. When requested, HSP provides technical assistance and expertise related to environmental and disaster epidemiology to state, tribal, local, territorial, and international public health agencies. Recommendations based on the results of the HSP’s work have been incorporated into public health strategies to prevent or reduce harmful environmental exposures.

Gloved hands extract water from a marsh using scientific tools.


HSP’s mission is to assess the extent of human exposures to emerging environmental threats and identify adverse health effects associated with the environmental exposures.


To turn knowledge gained from applied environmental epidemiology and surveillance practices into products that guide public health decision-making.

The HSP accomplishes this goal by

  • collecting, analyzing, and interpreting exposure and health data,
  • providing technical assistance for disaster preparedness and response, and
  • developing an expert workforce.