Michael Gochfeld, Md., PhD.

Professor Gochfeld’s work extends to current State and Homeland Security projects advising on biological, chemical and radiological weapon readiness as asserted upon emergency responding physicians and nurses.

Research Highlights

  • Participation in an EPA Environmental Justice Symposium resulted in exploration of the importance of outliers in risk management and the importance of occupational exposures as part of a comprehensive Environmental Justice paradigm.
  • The role of selenium in protecting against mercury toxicity has been known for 40 years, but the mechanism(s) of the interaction remain unclear. This study examines whether the Se:Hg molar ratio predicts mercury toxicity from fish consumption.

Scholarly Activities

  • Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine: Chair of Curriculum Committee
  • Robert Wood Johnson Medical School: M1 Block Directors Committee
  • Special Committee on Health, Productivity, and Disability Management, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
  • Chair Committee on History of OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits

Research Areas

My main area of research has focused on heavy metals exposure and effect. The current emphasis is on the relationship between mercury and selenium exposure and balancing the risks against benefits of fish consumption. Much of this work involves Native American and Alaskan Native communities.

A second area focuses on the environmental consequences of energy options, examining nuclear options in the light of the spent nuclear fuel impasse and the Fukushima disaster vs unintended consequences of renewable energy. This has been developed as an outgrowth of our CRESP work on hazardous waste, risk management, and land use decisions with the U.S. Department of Energy.

A third area focuses on incorporating workplace health and safety equity into the EPA’s “Environmental Justice” paradigm.

Recent Publications

  1. Soskolne, CL, Kramer, S, Ramos-Bonilla, JP, Mandrioli, D, Sass, J, Gochfeld, M, Cranor, CF, Advani, S, Bero, LA. Toolkit for detecting misused epidemiological methods. Environ Health. 2021;20 (1):90. doi: 10.1186/s12940-021-00771-6. PubMed PMID:34412643 PubMed Central PMC8375462
  2. Lynch, RM, Favata, E, Gochfeld, M. Assess Ventilation When Determining Safe Distancing in Schools to Control Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Transmission. Clin Infect Dis. 2021;73 (6):e1404-e1405. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab353. PubMed PMID:33895816 PubMed Central PMC8135657
  3. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M, Bunn, A, Looney, B, Jeitner, C. Role of uncertainties in protecting ecological resources during remediation and restoration. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2021;84 (12):485-502. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2021.1887783. PubMed PMID:33632081
  4. Gochfeld, M, Burger, J. Mercury interactions with selenium and sulfur and the relevance of the Se:Hg molar ratio to fish consumption advice. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021;28 (15):18407-18420. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-12361-7. PubMed PMID:33507504 PubMed Central PMC8026698
  5. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M. Biomonitoring selenium, mercury, and selenium:mercury molar ratios in selected species in Northeastern US estuaries: risk to biota and humans. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021;28 (15):18392-18406. doi: 10.1007/s11356-020-12175-z. PubMed PMID:33471308
  6. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M. A template of information needs for decision-making about delaying remediation on contaminated lands to protect human health. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2020;83 (10):379-394. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2020.1763221. PubMed PMID:32501180
  7. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M, Kosson, DS, Brown, KG, Salisbury, JA, Jeitner, C. Risk to ecological resources following remediation can be due mainly to increased resource value of successful restoration: A case study from the Department of Energy's Hanford Site. Environ Res. 2020;186 :109536. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109536. PubMed PMID:32344209
  8. Gaitens, JM, Potter, BK, D'Alleyrand, JG, Overmann, AL, Gochfeld, M, Smith, DR, Breyer, R, McDiarmid, MA. The management of embedded metal fragment patients and the role of chelation Therapy: A workshop of the Department of Veterans Affairs-Walter Reed National Medical Center. Am J Ind Med. 2020;63 (5):381-393. doi: 10.1002/ajim.23098. PubMed PMID:32144801
  9. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M, Kosson, DS, Brown, KG, Salisbury, J, Jeitner, C. A paradigm for protecting ecological resources following remediation as a function of future land use designations: a case study for the Department of Energy's Hanford Site. Environ Monit Assess. 2020;192 (3):181. doi: 10.1007/s10661-020-8084-x. PubMed PMID:32065319
  10. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M, Jeitner, C. Importance of buffer lands to determining risk to ecological resources at legacy contaminated sites: A case study for the Department of Energy's Hanford Site, Washington, USA. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2019;82 (22):1151-1163. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2019.1702911. PubMed PMID:31852396