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Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences

The Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences is home to one of the largest environmental health programs in the nation, and the only one that incorporates radiological health into its core curriculum. Students and researchers in environmental health investigate how natural and built environments affect human and animal health and seek solutions to minimize negative health consequences of environmental and workplace exposures. Radiological health has a long tradition at CSU focused on the biological effects of radiation, including laboratory studies of the damaging effects of radiation, and clinical uses of radiation in diagnostic imaging and cancer therapy.

Areas of Expertise

Environmental health is the study of the chemical, biological, and physical factors in our environment that positively or negatively impact human health. It encompasses the assessment and control of those environmental factors in our air, water, soil, homes and workplaces, and is targeted toward preventing disease and creating healthy environments.

Centers and Institutes View All

Center for Metabolism of Infectious Diseases learn more
Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center learn more
High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety learn more

news and updates view all

NPR Weekend Edition: New research finds building evidence for the long-term health effects of wildfire smoke

“We call the smoke episode a silent epidemic, or it’s a silent disaster because people aren’t worried about losing their lives, per se. But it doesn’t have that same dramatic impact as watching a city burn – right? – or watching a forest burn.” -Sheryl Magzamen

Boise State Public Radio: Research aims to shield Idaho nursing home residents from wildfire smoke

Luke Montrose is leading a research study to see how fires are affecting air quality for residents. He’s an environmental toxicologist, and used to be based at Boise State University; now he’s an assistant professor at Colorado State University. Montrose recognized that those over 65 are at greater risk from wildfire smoke due to pre-existing heart and lung conditions.

National Geographic: How wildfire smoke can permanently damage your brain and body

Adam Schuller, an environmental toxicologist at CSU, has described three ways pollutants might reach the brain: particles travel in oxygenated blood from the lungs directly to the brain; particles directly enter the brain along the olfactory tract; or inflammatory factors triggered by an inflammatory response in the lungs invade the brain. Just as you might check the weather before heading out for a hike or other activity, “it’s getting people in the mindset that they should look at the air quality before they go outside to know whether they should be outside at all,” CSU environmental toxicologist Luke Montrose says.