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Health and Environmental Effects Research

Basic Information

Facilites in RTP, NC

EPA facilities in Research Triangle Park, NC.

The National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory is the Agency's focal point for scientific research on the effects of contaminants and environmental stressors on human health and ecosystem integrity. Its research mission and goals help the Agency to identify and understand the processes that affect our health and environment, and helps the Agency to evaluate the risks that pollution poses to humans and ecosystems. The impact of NHEERL's efforts can be felt far beyond the EPA, by enabling state and local governments to implement effective environmental programs, assisting industry in setting and achieving environmental goals, and collaborating with international governments and organizations on issues of environmental importance.

In addition to its own internal research focus, the Laboratory fosters cooperative research projects with academic and other scientific institutions which compliment the objectives of the EPA, while ensuring that the Agency receives the benefit of the highest quality peer-reviewed science. NHEERL conducts a multi disciplinary research program that strives to reduce the uncertainties inherent in assessing risk. These uncertainties vary in scope from fundamental scientific questions requiring sustained, long-term research strategies to Congressionally-mandated investigations that demand an immediate response. Accordingly, NHEERL balances long-term and short-term research objectives, combining elements of both basic and applied sciences to provide a unique blend of research capabilities.

Mission & Goals:

NHEERL is the focal point for toxicological, clinical, epidemiological, ecological, and biogeographic research within the Environmental Protection Agency. To improve the scientific underpinnings of EPA's risk assessments, public heath, and regulatory policy decisions, NHEERL scientists create and apply:

Facilites in RTP, NC

An EPA scientist at preparing equipment.

  • Biological assays and toxicologic assessment methods
  • Predictive pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic models
  • Ecosystem function theory
  • Advanced extrapolation methods

In addition to its intramural research, the NHEERL fosters cooperative research projects with academic and other scientific institutions to complement NHEERL mission-oriented efforts as well as to insure that the Agency has the benefit of the highest quality peer-reviewed science.

Long-term research components define and characterize toxicological hazards, quantify dose response and other important cause-effect relationships, and assess the integrity and sustainability of ecosystems. In addition, NHEERL scientists serve as scientific advisors/reviewers in providing technical assistance to Program Offices, Regions, States, Tribes, other ORD national laboratories, senior Agency managers, Agency workgroups, and interagency task forces. NHEERL also provides national and international leadership in identifying and resolving important human and ecological issues and by influencing the research planning/priorities of other research organizations.

NHEERL's mission embraces three objectives. Pursuit of these objectives enable NHEERL to secure and expand its position as a premier environmental research institution.

  • Perform human health and ecological effects research of the highest scientific quality in support of the risk assessment needs of the Agency
  • Demonstrate leadership in identifying, studying, and resolving important environmental health and ecological effects issues and in establishing the environmental research agenda
  • Provide scientific and technical assistance to EPA Program and Regional Offices and to local, state, regional, national, and international governments and organizations


NHEERL Office Locations:

  • NHEERL's Immediate Office (RTP, NC)
  • Gulf Ecology Division (Gulf Breeze, FL)
  • Mid-Continent Ecology Division (Duluth, MN)
  • Large Lakes Research Station Branch (Grosse Ile, MI)
  • Western Ecology Division (Corvallis, OR)
  • Pacific Coastal Ecology Branch (Newport, OR)
  • Atlantic Ecology Division (Narragansett, RI)
  • Environmental Public Health Division (Chapel Hill, NC)
Map of NHEERL Locations
Employee Directory

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Media Contacts:

Marjorie Jones, Public Affairs
Office of Research and Development
86 T. W. Alexander Drive (Mail Code B305-01)
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
Phone: (919) 541-2184
Fax: (919) 541-5485
E-mail: jones.marjorie@epa.gov

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