Director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)
Joan Denton Ph.D. has been the director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) since November, 1997.
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.
Previously, she was a research specialist for the Air Resources Board executive office, stationary source division and the research division.
Prior to that, Denton was a research associate for the Indiana University School of Medicine Laboratory for Experimental Oncology from 1979 to 1982.
Denton has 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.
The director of OEHHA is 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.