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Environmental Health Investigations branch

People in different environments where they might be exposed to chemicals.


The Environmental Health Investigations Branch (EHIB) studies and explains how the health of our environment affects our health. We provide information that can help reduce human exposure to harmful environmental risks. Our mission is to protect the health of all Californians by identifying environmental hazards, partnering with communities to build their capacity, and promoting healthy environments.

Learn more about EHIB, including current job openings. 

What's New?

  • Neeti's story: A video about mercury poisoning from ayurvedic medicine - Some Ayurvedic medicines contain heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and mercury. This video shares the personal story of a woman who became poisoned by mercury after taking Ayurvedic medications. Included are CDPH physicians who provide advice on symptoms and testing for heavy metals in the body. 

  • Mercury in Skin Creams: English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF) Consumer Alerts – The California Department of Public Health urges consumers to stop using the Chupa Manchas, Nunn Care, and Pomada de la Campana face creams sold at swap meets and on Facebook Marketplace due to each containing mercury. Mercury is a harmful chemical that can cause serious health problems. If you or someone you know uses any of the face creams that are pictured or described within this consumer alert, please stop using and contact the Mercury Line at (510) 334-8567 or email

  • Are you looking to practice purposeful, community engagement? EHIB developed two new resources for government agencies!  Created for public agencies, the Guide for Engaging Communities for Health Equity and Environmental Justice (PDF) offers promising practices and effective strategies for comprehensive community assessments, meaningful partnerships, community-based research, accessible communications, and equity-conscious interventions. The accompanying Toolkit for Engaging Communities for Health Equity and Environmental Justice (PDF) provides additional templates, resources, field-testing guides and more to work together with community in achieving common goals. Contact us at for support in implementing these strategies within your agency.

  • Public Health Impact of Prescribed Fire: Report on Listening Sessions  Brief report (PDF) and full report (PDF) now available. The State plans to increase the use of prescribed fires to reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfires and restore forest health. Although prescribed fire offers an important tool to reduce wildfire risks, concerns exist about the public health implications of smoke generated by prescribed burning. EHIB held two virtual listening sessions to hear from community members in high wildfire risk areas in Nevada and El Dorado counties about their knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of the public health impacts of prescribed fire and wildfire, and to learn about their messaging preferences.

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