NIEHS Funds New Duke University Environmental Analysis Lab

Heather Stapleton

Photo: Karen Tam/Tribune News Service

Lee Ferguson

Photo: Duke University

NIEHS Funds New Duke University Environmental Analysis Lab

Duke University has received a five-year, $5 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to develop a new environmental analysis laboratory. The Duke Environmental Analysis Laboratory (DEAL) will provide National Institute of Health (NIH) investigators access to specialized analytical equipment and expert support to characterize unknown chemicals and better understand environmental impacts on human health.

Duke University's press release indicated that between 70% and 90% of chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease, are influenced by exposure to contaminants in the environment. The NIEHS grant will equip and staff a state-of-the-art research laboratory to support environmental health research, and help develop new tools and methods to measure individual exposures to contaminant mixtures and understand the risks they pose.

One main focus of the lab will be to develop more accurate methods for measuring contaminants found in water, air, soil, dust samples and diverse other materials collected in the field. The lab will be equipped to conduct targeted analyses of these samples for a broad range of contaminants, including phthalates, flame retardants, and per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). Researchers will be able to measure new or emerging contaminants through non-targeted analyses and estimate all the chemicals that might be present in one sample.

Heather S. Stapleton, Associate Professor of Environmental Health and Lee Ferguson, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering will co-direct DEAL.


Duke Press Release