About the Health and Environmental Effects Assessment Division (HEEAD)
The Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment (CPHEA) provides the science needed to understand the complex interrelationship between people and nature in support of assessments and policy to protect human health and ecological integrity. Within CPHEA, sits the Health and Environmental Effects Assessment Division.
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What We Do
EPA's Health and Environmental Effects Assessment Division (HEEAD) is a leader in the science of human health and ecological risk assessment, a robust scientific process used to determine how pollutants or other stressors may impact human health and the environment. The Division champions the development and use of health and ecological assessments by interacting with other agencies, the scientific community, industry, policy-makers, and the public. HEEAD occupies a critical position in EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) between researchers in other parts of ORD and outside of EPA who are generating new findings and data and the regulators and decision-makers in EPA’s program and regional offices who must make decisions to protect public health and the environment.
The Division’s programs are broad in scope and involve numerous scientific disciplines. The programs address the needs of stakeholders through evaluation, synthesis and analysis of the most up-to-date scientific information. These products serve as a major component of the scientific foundation supporting EPA's regulations, advisories, policies, and enforcement and remedial action decisions. HEEAD also conducts cutting-edge research to develop innovative risk assessment methods and tools that help extrapolate between experimental data and real-world scenarios, improve our understanding of uncertainties, and facilitate careful evaluation of scientific evidence through development and application state of the art information technologies that support risk assessment.
- HEEAD scientists are responsible for development of Integrated Science Assessments to support decisions by the EPA Administrator to retain or revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for major air pollutants, and health risk assessments for priority chemicals.
- HEEAD scientists support risk assessors worldwide, including through development of the Benchmark Dose suite of dose-response models and the application of information technologies through the Health and Environmental Research Online (HERO) system to make the world’s literature available to risk assessors and the public.
- HEEAD scientists carry out research and assessment activities to identify, understand, and characterize the individual and combined effects of multiple stressors including climate and land-use change, on ecological and environmental endpoints across both terrestrial and aquatic systems.
- HEEAD scientists play leadership roles in assessments like the Biofuels Report to Congress, the Report on the Environment, the Causal Analysis/Diagnosis Decision Information System (CADDIS) and is responsible for developing and maintaining tools and databases of high priority for climate change, such as the Global Change Assessment Research program with tools like the Global Change Explorer - which includes the Critical Loads Mapper, ICLUS, 20-Watersheds Tool, LASSO, METRO, ADT Tool and SLAMM.
Steve Dutton, Division Director
- Phone: 919-541-5035
Emily Snyder, Associate Director
- Phone: 919-541-1006
- Hazardous Pollutant Assessment & Systems Branch(NC), Branch Chief Andrew Hotchkiss
- Integrated Environmental Assessment Branch (DC), Branch Chief Britta Bierwagen
- Integrated Environmental Assessment Branch (NC), Branch Chief Chris Weaver
- Integrated Health Assessment Branch (NC), Acting Branch Chief Scott Jenkins