How do chemical exposures affect our health?

Because cancer is a long-latency disease—it can take years to develop—we need new ways of assessing chemical exposures in people so that we can predict whether a chemical is likely to cause cancer or another disease down the road.

To address the gaps in knowledge about the influence of environmental contaminants on the development of cancer, we are investigating early biological markers of disease in humans and how these relate to chemical exposures in the body. These types of evidence, combined with others, can serve as a basis for public health intervention to reduce hazardous exposures.

Related Projects


Understanding the relationship between PFAS exposure and health outcomes will allow communities and governmental agencies to make better decisions about how to protect public health.

Through PFAS-REACH, we are advancing science on the impacts of PFAS on children's health and empowering communities to reduce their exposures and advocate for change.

We are investigating on-the-job exposures to chemicals linked with breast cancer among female workers.

The ELLA study is investigating whether exposure to common environmental chemicals during puberty increases a young girl’s chances of developing breast cancer later in life.


Our comprehensive reviews of human studies demonstrate that exposure to environmental chemicals, especially early in life, is an important contributing factor in the development of breast cancer.

The first study on the links between the environment and breast cancer--a national model for future environmental health studies.