Environmental Health Program

About the Program

Energy choices made at the local, state and federal level can impact public health through the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the environment in which we live, work, and play. The Environmental Health Program analyzes data and communicates findings and recommendations on public health hazards, risks, and impacts of energy production, distribution and generation, particularly focused on hydrocarbon-based energy sources. Previous work in the Environmental Health Program has focused on the use, fate and transport of chemicals in oil and gas development, public health dimensions of oilfield wastewater reuse, health and equity impacts of coal and gas-fired power plants, and environmental and health dimensions of shale gas development. The Environmental Health Program also maintains the Repository for Oil and Gas Energy Research (ROGER), a near-exhaustive database of all peer-reviewed publications relevant to assessing air, water, human health, environment, and climate impacts of shale and tight gas development. This database is a go-to comprehensive resource for scientists and those engaged in policy discussions on oil and gas development – nationally and internationally – to enable evidence-based decision making.

Recent Work

Stay tuned for information on our specific research efforts in the Environmental Health program area. We will add information as we build out our brand new website. Below are selected highlights from our latest work.

Related Work

PSE in the Media August 24, 2023

California group exploring viability of a community-centered direct air capture hub

A team co-led by Berkeley Lab is studying the possibility of an air capture hub that uses multiple decarbonizing technologies and prioritizes needs of surrounding communities.


PSE in the Media August 9, 2023

Natural gas odorants associated with consistent pattern of adverse health symptoms

The literature review Natural Gas Odorants: A Scoping Review of Health Effects examined 22 research articles related to the health hazards, risks, and impacts of five commonly-used natural gas odorants.


PSE in the Media August 9, 2023

Commonly-used natural gas odorants may induce a range of adverse health symptoms

Odorants are widely used in natural gas for leak detection, however, few studies have examined their potential effects on public health. A new peer-reviewed publication in Current Environmental Health Reports, suggests that some commonly-used natural gas odorants may induce a range of adverse health

Prime News Print

PSE in the Media July 31, 2023

It’s Hot Outside. Resilience Hubs Can Help Cool You Down (And Other Headlines)

Scientists at PSE Healthy Energy, a scientific research institute, are trying to help communities and government agencies pinpoint areas that could potentially serve the most marginalized communities.


Peer-Reviewed Publications June 2, 2023

Air Pollution and Neurodegenerative Disease

Yanelli Nunez, PhD, Arin Balalian, Robbie M Parks, Mike Z He, Johnni Hansen, Matthias Ketzel, Jibran Khan, Jørge Brandt, Roel Vermeulen, Susan Peters, Marc G Weisskopf, Diane B Re, Jeff Goldsmith, Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou

PSE Blog September 30, 2021

Richmond Air Monitoring Network Insights: Using hyperlocal data to evaluate neighborhood trends in air pollution

Lee Ann Hill, MPH, Audrey Smith, MPH, Karan Shetty, M.ESM, Angélica Ruiz, MPH, Boris Lukanov, PhD

PSE in the Media July 7, 2021

Berkeley Lab’s black carbon sensors enable air quality monitoring to understand the impacts of diesel trucks in Richmond, California

Berkeley Lab scientists are teaming with Oakland-based nonprofit Physicians, Scientists and Engineers (PSE) for Healthy Energy to install sensors that will give residents data to understand air pollution sources and patterns.

Berkeley Lab

PSE in the Media April 29, 2021

Harvard study says tighter oil, gas rules that allow exemptions make little difference

Study reviews Pennsylvania law; officials say new Colorado rules differ from the Keystone State’s law.

Denver Post

PSE in the Media April 14, 2021

Fossil Fuel Phase Out Must Begin Where the Industry Has Hurt People the Most

Without warning, on the most bitter winter days, or the hottest of summer, smoke stacks that sit idle much of the year switch online, spewing trails of climate-altering, coronavirus-exacerbating pollutants across the sky, like carbon dioxide (CO2) and particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5)...


Testimony April 9, 2021

PSE’s Shonkoff Briefs Congress and Staffers on Orphaned Oil and Gas Wells

Seth B.C. Shonkoff, PhD, MPH