Environmental Health

Public health change-maker

David Eaton

Professor, UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences

Proudest achievement:

His election to the National Academy of Medicine in 2011.

Joined DEOHS faculty:


“My advice for new faculty is to stay focused early in your career. It is harder today to get grants compared to when I started, so don’t spread yourself too thin.”

- David Eaton

A deep dive into environmental health

Our Environmental Health Seminar series for winter quarter is now under way.

Join us Thursdays at 12:30 pm through March 14 to hear from speakers on the latest scientific insights into environmental and workplace health. The series includes 10 lectures by experts from a variety of local and national institutions.

These 50-minute seminars are free and open to the public. They are held each Thursday at 12:30 pm in the Magnuson Health Sciences Center, Room T-435, on the University of Washington campus.

The more you know

I recently found leftovers in my fridge that were close to a week old—right on the line between acceptable and sketchy. I performed the tried-and-true smell test, made a judgment and popped them in the microwave. 

The broccoli tasted fine, the rice was a little dry. All was going well until my mind wandered to a recent lecture on foodborne pathogens in my environmental microbiology course.

A legacy of impact

David Kalman, PhD

Professor and DEOHS Chair Emeritus

Joined DEOHS

1978; served as department chair 1998–2014.

Proudest achievement

Helping to expand the department.

“I would urge new faculty to be interested in everything and collaborate broadly while also building your own research identity. Finding a good balance between your personal focus and forming strong collaborations is what a faculty career is all about.”

- David Kalman

Meet our new dean

We recently invited students to pose questions to Hilary Godwin, who joined the UW School of Public Health (SPH) as our new dean in July. Godwin is also professor in the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences.

[Read the full version of this story, originally published in the fall 2018 issue of  SPH Connect.]

Health and safety in the real world

Growing up in the Middle East, Hamzah El-Himri experienced firsthand what can happen to communities when health and safety regulations are lacking.

“I grew up hearing stories about extremely hazardous work environments, where people I knew died from workplace accidents,” said El-Himri, a 2015 BS graduate of the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS).

Let's talk about wildfire smoke and your health

[Reprinted with permission from the new 2018 edition of Northwest Public Health magazine.] 

For the past two summers, the western part of the United States has experienced extraordinary wildfire seasons.

Dominated by longer burns, fires in locations not previously thought to be at risk, and significant smoke in dense urban areas, these events were a wake-up call to communities with little or no experience dealing with them.

A gift for the future

We live in an environment that Bruce Fowler calls “chemical-rich.”

Our exposure to chemicals found in air pollution, pesticides, lead and other sources begins before we are born and continues throughout our lives. Nearly 1 in 4 global deaths are the result of living or working in an unhealthy environment, according to World Health Organization estimates.

Yet the specific health effects of our exposure to all those chemicals remain largely unknown.

A splash of color in a smoke-choked summer

The Pacific Northwest’s “new normal” is starting to feel like old normal in Washington’s Methow Valley.

This is the fifth summer in a row that wildfire season has hit the Methow Valley especially hard, causing hazardous smoke conditions that persist for weeks and leaving residents feeling trapped and isolated.

Cooped up inside, valley residents can get a little stir-crazy as they watch summer drift by in a haze. The alternative—wearing a mask to go outside—only adds to the sense of apocalypse.