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Exposure Research

Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Staff

Clay Nelson

Title: Physical Scientist

EPA Division: Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division

EPA Branch: Methods Development and Application Branch

Clay’s research supports the development and application of bioavailability tools for improved human health risk assessments for toxic metals in soil. This effort focuses on developing new or refining existing in vitro metal bioaccessibility assays that simulate the human gut, and determining the mechanisms that control metal bioavailability. Clay also specializes in trace metal analysis via ICP-MS, HPLC-ICP-MS, ICP-OES, and AA.


  • M.E.M., Environmental Health and Toxicology, Duke University, 2008
  • B.A., Biology, Dartmouth College, 2003

Professional Experience:

  • Physical Scientist, USEPA, ORD, NERL-HEASD, RTP, NC 2011-present
  • ORISE Research Fellow, USEPA, ORD, NERL-HEASD, RTP, NC 2010-2011
  • Student Services Contractor, USEPA, ORD, NERL-HEASD, RTP, NC 2010-2011
  • Research Coordinator, Laboratory of Molecular Aquatic Toxicology, Duke University, NC 2008-2009
  • Research Assistant, Laboratory of Molecular Aquatic Toxicology, Duke University, NC 2007-2008
  • Staff Scientist, MB Consulting Engineers, San Diego, CA 2003-2006

Select Publications:

  • Nelson C, Gilmore T, Harrington J, Scheckel K, Miller B, Bradham K. 2013. Evaluation of a low-cost commercially available extraction device for assessing lead bioaccessibility in contaminated soils. Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts DOI: 10.1039/C2EM30789H.
  • Bradham K, Scheckel K, Nelson C, Seales P, Lee G, Hughes M, Miller B, Yeow A, Gilmore T, Serda A, Harper S, Thomas D. 2011. Relative Bioavailability and Bioaccessibility and Speciation of Arsenic in Contaminated Soils. Environ Health Perspect 119:1629-1634.

Published & Presented Research (1999-Present)

Contact Info:
Clay Nelson
Human Exposure & Atmospheric Sciences Division
National Exposure Research Laboratory
US EPA Office of Research and Development
109 TW Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Telephone: 919-541-5617
Email: nelson.clay@epa.gov

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