Research Programs

 US, Italy, China, South Africa, Central America

From Seveso, Italy, where a chemical plant exploded in the 1970's to the agricultural Salinas Valley, California, where more than 9 million pounds of pesticides were used in 2012, to Limpopo, South Africa, where strong insecticides are used to combat malaria-carrying mosquitoes, CERCH studies the potential impacts of environmental exposures on children's health. Such factors include pesticides, flame retardants, chemicals in plastics, cosmetics and other consumer products and many other exposures. We also examine how the larger environment, including adversity, poverty, and cultural resilience, interact with chemical exposures. CERCH prioritizes engaging communities to inform study design, implementation, and dissemination and helping to identify key solutions to pressing environmental issues.  Click here for CERCH's 20 Year Overview.

Blood Sample Being Drawn by CHAMACOS Lab Technitian


The Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) is a longitudinal cohort study of children examining exposures to pesticides and other chemicals and their potential health effects on growth, neurodevelopment and health. We have been conducting this study for 19 years and have been funded to continue for another 6 years of research.


The COSECHA Study, (which stands for CHAMACOS of Salinas Evaluating Chemicals in Homes and Agriculture) is a youth participatory action research project using novel technologies to examine how Salinas Valley teens are exposed to pesticides used in fields near their homes.

HERMOSA Youth Researchers Lobbying in Sacramento


The Health and Environmental Research in Make-up of Salinas Adolescents (HERMOSA) showed that adolescent girls could reduce exposure to potentially hormone disrupting chemicals in personal care products by using low-chemical alternatives for 3 days.

High Car Traffic on the Bridge

East Bay Diesel Exposure Project

This project is a collaboration with the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and will assess diesel exhaust exposure in communities along the Interstate 80 – Interstate 880 corridor on the east side of the San Francisco Bay.


The VHEMBE Study investigates potential health effects resulting from the use of insecticides for malaria control in the Vhembe District of Limpopo, South Africa.

Seveso Women's Health Study

A historical cohort study started in 1976 investigating the effects of dioxin on the reproductive health of women exposed during an industrial accident in Seveso, Italy.

Environmental Quality in California Child Care Studies

Examining chemical exposures and improving environmental quality in child care settings in California, with the ultimate goal of protecting children’s health.


The China Benzene Sperm Study (C-BASS) investigated the association between exposure to benzene in the workplace and genetic damage to sperm in Tianjin, China.

Youth Participatory Action Research for Air Quality Justice

Richmond Youth Air Quality Initiative

Several census tracts in Richmond, CA rank in the top percentiles for state-wide aggregate burden and community vulnerability. We collaborated with RYSE, and local Richmond youth to address gaps in scientific knowledge and improve community awareness.

Farmworker COVID-19 Study

The Farmworker COVID-19 examines active and prior COVID-19 infections in the Monterey County farmworker community. The findings include a critical assesment of risk factors that contribute to infection.