Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment

Air Toxicology and Epidemiology

OEHHA is responsible for conducting health risk assessments of chemical contaminants found in air, including those identified as toxic air contaminants or on the list of chemicals under the Air Toxics Hot Spots Act. Assessments include development of Cancer Potency Factors to assess the cancer risk from carcinogens in air, and development of Reference Exposure Levels to assess noncancer health impacts. OEHHA has developed and updates risk assessment guidance for use in site-specific risk assessments under the Air Toxics Hot Spots program. OEHHA also makes health-based recommendations to the Air Resources Board for Ambient Air Quality Standards. Recent legislation, the Children's Environmental Health Protection Act, requires OEHHA to explicitly consider infants and children in evaluating health risks of air pollutants. OEHHA is evaluating current risk assessment methods for their adequacy to protect children.

OEHHA also conducts epidemiological investigations of the health effects of criteria air pollutants. Such investigations include the health impacts on sensitive subpopulations such as children and the elderly. For example, OEHHA is conducting an evaluation of the impacts of traffic-related pollutants on children. Specifically, the relationship between respiratory health of children and proximity of their schools to heavily traveled roadways including measured exposure to traffic-related pollutants is being analyzed.

OEHHA also evaluates health effects of chemicals commonly found in indoor air, including developing Reference Exposure Levels for use with indoor air exposure scenarios. OEHHA participates in a number of inter-Agency activities designed to evaluate indoor air quality health issues and to move California toward safer indoor air quality.

OEHHA provides health-related assistance to the Air Resources Board, air pollution control districts, local health officers and environmental health officers.

 
Flex Your Power Web site
Energy efficiency and conservation information. Find incentives/rebates, technical assistance, retailers, product guides, case studies and more.
AMBER ALERT: Save a Child Amber Alert logo
AMBER ALERT empowers law enforcement, the media and the public to combat abduction by sending out immediate information.

OEHHA Logo