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Naval Medical Research
and Development
Enterprise Laboratories

Enviornmental Health Effects Laboratory

The Environmental Health Effects Laboratory studies the potential health effects associated with exposure to the various environmental stressors military men and women face. Stressors in military operations include physical stressors, such as temperature and noise, as well as chemical and material hazards. 

EHEL uses in vitro and in vivo systems for exposure and conducts risk assessments using in silico modeling approaches. Our in vitro lab can evaluate cytotoxicity, mutagenicity, genotoxicity, and underlying mechanisms of action using human tissue models. Our state-of-the-science exposure systems determine potential health impacts of various exposures and routes of exposure, specializing in chemical inhalation, using in vivo models. 

Our extensive expertise in evaluating inhaled toxins enables precise testing of gases, vapors, aerosols, particulates and nanoparticles using whole-body and nose-only inhalation chambers. EHEL evaluates the effects of exposure from multiple standpoints, from the enzyme/tissue level to respiration to brain activity, anxiety, depression and cognition. 

EHEL can replicate and assess health impacts of most environments faced by service men and women, including hyperbaria in diving, hypobaria of flight, sandstorms, noise of the flight line, the breathing atmosphere of submarines and the multitude of chemicals used in military operations.

The ultimate goal of our research is to develop health protective exposure standards for our military and civilian populations.


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