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    Environmental Surveillance and Toxicology Branch
    Health Assessment and Toxicology Program
    1100 West 49th Street
    Austin, Texas 78756

    Phone: 1-888-681-0927
    Fax: 512-776-7222

Texas Environmental Health Institute


involved agencies
click to go to department of health website
click on button to go to DSHS Home
texas environmental heatlh institute logo
click to go to texas commission on environmental quality
click on button to go to TCEQ Home


Establishment of the Institute:

In 2001, in response to citizen concerns about the potential impact of environmental pollutants on their health, the Texas Legislature passed legislation establishing the Texas Environmental Health Institute (TEHI or Institute) as a joint venture between the Texas Department of Health, predecessor agency to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission, predecessor agency to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the State environmental agency. Section 19.01, Title 5, Subtitle G, Chapter 427, of the Texas Health and Safety Code, directs the TCEQ to enter into an agreement with the DSHS, to jointly establish the Texas Environmental Health Institute to examine ways to identify, treat, manage, prevent, and reduce health problems associated with environmental contamination.

On December 6, 2001, an Interagency Memorandum Of Agreement (MOA) was entered into by and between the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (predecessor of the TCEQ) and the Texas Department of Health (predecessor of the DSHS), pursuant to the authority granted and in compliance with the provisions of the Interagency Cooperation Act, TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE Chapter 771. The purpose of the Agreement was to establish the Institute and to describe the tasks to be performed and the duties and responsibilities of each of the agencies in enabling the Institute to accomplish its purposes. The Institute was established within the Environmental Epidemiology Division (currently the Environmental & Injury Epidemiology and Toxicology Branch) within DSHS.

Vision and Mission Statement

Institute Vision Statement

To have healthy informed communities

This vision statement describes what the Institute strives to achieve. Individuals often have to make choices about their lifestyles that can affect their health. They frequently need to rely on public authorities to provide them with reliable information so that they may make informed decisions. Often they also rely on government to protect them from threats which are beyond their control.

Institute Mission Statement

To examine ways to identify, treat, manage, prevent, and reduce health problems associated with environmental contamination.

This mission statement identifies the overall purpose of the Institute and describes the Legislative mandate that it must fulfill.

Important Links

Texas Legislation Establishing the Texas Environmental Health Institute "pdf"
Progress Report and Future Direction of Institute (2015) "pdf"
Progress Report and Future Direction of Institute (2013) "pdf"
Progress Report and Future Direction of Institute (2007) "pdf"

Submitting Projects to TEHI

TEHI funds environmental research projects designed to examine ways to identify, treat, manage, prevent, and reduce health problems associated with environmental contamination.  If you are interested in being contacted about future TEHI funding opportunities, please send your contact information and your area of specialization to TEHI as the subject line.

TEHI encourages researchers to submit their research ideas to TEHI for funding consideration. Research goals must be consistent with the stated purposes of TEHI, and researchers must be employed by a college or university in Texas.

At least one of the following criteria must be met to be considered for funding:

1. Projects must be designed to identify health conditions, related or potentially related to environmental contamination, of Texas residents who live or have lived within the immediately surrounding area of a federal superfund site or state superfund site. Example projects include geocoding of environmental and disease data, research on priority health conditions, and the development and use of biological markers of exposure.

2. Projects must be designed to protect and promote the health and safety of residents in immediately surrounding areas by assessing exposure and/or preventing or reducing their health risks from exposure to chemical and biological contaminants, radioactive materials, and other hazards in the environment and the workplace. Example projects include assessing potential risks to the citizens living near Superfund and other hazardous waste sites and improving public access to information about potential environmental health risks.

Complete List of Projects Funded by TEHI

TEHI projects


Counties Affected

Project Period

Approximate Funding

Lead Exposure - West Dallas Area & Cadillac Heights


September 2002-August 2006


Screening for Asbestos-Related Lung Diseases Associated with W.R. Grace & Co./Texas Vermiculite


June 2006-August 2007


Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) and Superfund Site Map Layers & GeoDatabase


July 2007-August 2007


Database of Environmental Hazards


July 2007-August 2007


Survey of the Trace Element Geochemistry of Texas Soils


August 2007-August 2009


Proximity to Hazardous Waste Sites and Industrial Facilities and Selected Pregnancy Outcomes Among Residents of Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant Counties


October 2007-March 2008


GIS-Augmented Environmental Health Research in Texas: Maternal Residential Proximity to Superfund Sites and Low Birth Weight in Offspring


March 2008-August 2009


Bayesian Risk Mapping of Childhood Cancer Around Texas Superfund Sites


March 2008-August 2009


Pilot Project - Assessing the Role of Prenatal Lead Exposure on Infant Blood Lead Levels


March 2008-August 2009


Characterization of Airborne Contamination around the Texarkana Wood Preserving Site in Texarkana, Texas


October 2008-August 2011


Grand Prairie Vapor Intrusion Investigation


January 2009-August 2009


Characterization of Airborne Contaminants around the Ballard Pits State Superfund Site in Nueces County, Texas


April 2009-August 2011


Defining Biota-Sediment Accumulation Factors for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits, Texas


September 2009-August 2012


Prevalence Estimates of Asthma in Texas


September 2010-August 2012


Lavaca-Matagorda Bay System Seafood Tissue Contaminant Monitoring and Risk Assessment Calhoun September 2012-August 2013 $65,000


Last updated April 22, 2019