The Environmental Health Program investigates how marine and freshwater chemicals impact public health. The program also develops creative ways to disseminate information to resource managers, public health officials and the public about the impacts and how they can mitigate the adverse impacts.

The Program was a leader in the only long-term study of the effects of Florida’s red tide on human health, a project funded by the National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences. The $15.8 million NIEHS project was based on a “beach-to-bedside” model designed to identify the effects of naturally occurring chemical toxins by incorporating numerous scientific disciplines—from medical professionals to oceanographers to chemists to pharmacologists. Data collected, during beach field studies for over 10 years, provided new information about the health impacts of Florida red tide toxins on humans with and without lung disease.

Outreach is also a key component of the Environmental Health Program, which has developed innovative products to disseminate information about Florida red tides, such as the Beach Conditions Reporting System (www.mote.org/beaches).

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