About Arsenic Health Effects Research Program

The Arsenic Research Program is directed by Dr. Craig Steinmaus, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. The program was founded by Allan H. Smith, M.D., Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology, and Professor Smith is currently our Associate Director. Our arsenic research activities began with a risk assessment focusing mainly on cancer. This work revealed the cancer risks from inorganic arsenic in drinking water to be potentially very high. As a result, the Arsenic Health Effects Research Program was initiated in 1990 to study the health risks from exposure to inorganic arsenic. Currently it involves international research projects in Chile and Bangladesh.  Previous research sites included U.S.-based investigations in California and Nevada, Argentina and India. There are many opportunities for doctoral student research within these studies.  Inquiries from potential PhD students in environmental or occupational epidemiology are highly encouraged.

In 2001, with funding from the Fogarty International Center of NIEHS, the International Research and Training Program in Environmental and Occupational Health was implemented to equip selected trainees with the skills and resources to address occupational and environmental health problems in their own countries. Worldwide collaborations include those with institutions in Nepal (Pokhara) and India (Kolkata, West Bengal, Lucknow, Chennai, New Delhi, and Chandigarh).   Trainees in the Fogarty program may work on Project Well, which has established a dugwell program in West Bengal to provide arsenic safe water supported by private donations.

The research team is based at Berkeley, but the program includes collaborators at the University of Washington, Seattle, and the University of California, San Francisco, as well as collaborators and staff working on projects in Chile and Bangladesh. Funding sources include the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)



Project Well


University of California

2470 Telegraph Ave.

Suite 301

Berkeley, CA  94704

Tel: (510) 990-8354