Environmental toxicology is an area of growing interest and concern both to the scientific community and to the general public, since chemicals and pollutants together with other environmental factors are now recognized as major determinants of human health status. These chemicals, apart from their inherent toxicity, may modulate toxicity of other substances by interfering with various physiological systems.

The major long-range goals of the Environmental Toxicology program are:

    to elucidate mechanisms through which chemical, physical and biological agents in the environment induce toxicity and pathogenesis, including cancer;
    to study the effects of environmental pollutants and industrial chemicals as modifiers of physiological and pathological status and the influence of host factors such as nutritional status, disease states on toxicity and carcinogenicity of chemicals;
    to develop new methods for detection of environmental toxicants; and
    gene/environment interaction.

Specific research activities include:

    assessment of exposure and health impacts of urban air pollution, particularly carcinogenic compounds such as PAHs, benzene and 1,3-butadiene;
    study of cellular responses to chronic arsenic exposure in Southern Thailand;
    study of the effects of vitamin B deficiency on toxicity of benzene;
    analyses of biomarkers of chemical exposure, biological effects and susceptibility in people exposed in both environmental and occupational settings; and
    detection of environmental toxicants by dielectrophoresis.

The Environmental Toxicology program has research collaborations with:

    Aarhus University, Denmark;
    Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology, USA;
    MD Anderson Cancer Center, USA;
    New York University, USA; and
    Utrecht University, the Netherlands