Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

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Joan Denton Ph.D.

Director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)

Joan Denton Ph.D. was the director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) from November, 1997 through 2011.

Denton earned a bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of San Francisco in 1968 and a master's degree in biology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1973. She earned a Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1979.

Denton was a senior air pollution specialist for the California Air Resources Board from 1987-1997. In this position, she has worked to plan and implement the various programs of the toxic air contaminant identification program and has managed the technical staff who develop reports on exposure to toxic air contaminants.

Prior to that, Denton was a research associate for the Indiana University School of Medicine Laboratory for Experimental Oncology from 1979 to 1982.

Denton received numerous awards and honors for her work, including: the Dill Scholarship Award in Biology; Outstanding Supervisory Performance Award, Air Resources Board (received twice); and Cal/EPA Certificates of Appreciation and Recognition. Denton is widely published in the area of toxics and air quality control.

While director of OEHHA she was responsible for the performance of the scientific risk assessments for the regulation of chemicals in the environment, and for providing information about the health and environmental risks of chemicals to government agencies and the public. The director is also responsible for providing overall scientific guidance and consultation to the Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency and oversight of activities by regulatory agencies within OEHHA and also oversees the implementation of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.

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