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Michael Gochfeld M.D., Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus Rutgers UniversityEOHSI – Clinical Research and Occupational Medicine
Address EOHSI Room 206 170 Frelinghuysen Rd Piscataway NJ 08854 Phone: 848-445-6083
Photo of Michael Gochfeld M.D., Ph.D.

Biographical Info

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.

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

Recent Publications

  1. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M, Jeitner, C. Risk valuation of ecological resources at contaminated deactivation and decommissioning facilities: methodology and a case study at the Department of Energy's Hanford site. Environ Monit Assess. 2018;190 (8):478. doi: 10.1007/s10661-018-6866-1. PubMed PMID:30030638
  2. Burger, J, Zappalorti, RT, Gochfeld, M. Hatchling survival to breeding age in Northern Pine Snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus) in the New Jersey Pine Barrens: Human effects on recruitment from 1986 to 2017. PLoS ONE. 2018;13 (5):e0195676. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195676. PubMed PMID:29758024 PubMed Central PMC5951674
  3. Burger, J, Mizrahi, D, Tsipoura, N, Jeitner, C, Gochfeld, M. Mercury, Lead, Cadmium, Cobalt, Arsenic and Selenium in the Blood of Semipalmated Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) from Suriname, South America: Age-related Differences in Wintering Site and Comparisons with a Stopover Site in New Jersey, USA. Toxics. 2018;6 (2):. doi: 10.3390/toxics6020027. PubMed PMID:29747411 PubMed Central PMC6027228
  4. Burger, J, Niles, L, Jeitner, C, Gochfeld, M. Habitat risk: Use of intertidal flats by foraging red knots (Calidris canutus rufa), ruddy turnstones, (Arenaria interpres), semipalmated sandpipers (Calidris pusilla), and sanderling (Calidris alba) on Delaware Bay beaches. Environ. Res. 2018;165 :237-246. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.04.028. PubMed PMID:29734024
  5. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M. Perceptions of severe storms, climate change, ecological structures and resiliency three years post-hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. Urban Ecosyst. 2017;20 (6):1261-1275. doi: 10.1007/s11252-017-0678-x. PubMed PMID:29398897 PubMed Central PMC5796432
  6. Burger, J, Tsipoura, N, Gochfeld, M. Metal Levels in Blood of Three Species of Shorebirds during Stopover on Delaware Bay Reflect Levels in Their Food, Horseshoe Crab Eggs. Toxics. 2017;5 (3):. doi: 10.3390/toxics5030020. PubMed PMID:29051452 PubMed Central PMC5634703
  7. Burger, J, Gochfeld, M, Pittfield, T, Jeitner, C. Responses of a vulnerable Hispanic population in New Jersey to Hurricane Sandy: Access to care, medical needs, concerns, and ecological ratings. J. Toxicol. Environ. Health Part A. 2017;80 (6):315-325. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2017.1297275. PubMed PMID:28644717 PubMed Central PMC5531200
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Categories: Faculty, Clinical Research and Occupational Medicine

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