within the Department of Environmental Health

at the University of Cincinnati 

Director: James E. Lockey, MD, MS

The Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has three major areas of focus:

  1. Training physicians in the specialty of occupational medicine through the University of Cincinnati's ACGME-accredited Occupational Medicine residency training program.
  2. Conducting occupational epidemiologic research of populations exposed to potential hazards within the workplace.
  3. The clinical evaluation of patients with medical conditions potentially related to occupational or environmental exposures.
The Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine is multi-disciplinary in character and its faculty members have frequent interactions with other divisions within the Department of Environmental Health as well as with the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Department of Internal Medicine. Extensive use is made of regional and national volunteer faculty with expertise in the field of occupational health.
The Occupational Medicine Residency Training Program at the University of Cincinnati is the oldest continuously operating Occupational Medicine residency in the United States. On average, four residents graduate from the program on a yearly basis. These residents go on to accept positions at other academic institutions, within industrial settings, or within the local, state or federal agencies. The residency training program is largely funded by an Educational Resource Center Training Grant awarded to the University of Cincinnati by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In addition to the Residency Training Program, the Division actively supports the Occupational Medicine Training Course for physicians and other health professionals.


The Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine is involved in several major areas of research.

The division is evaluating pulmonary toxicity in workers exposed to refractory ceramic fibers (RCF, a type of man-made vitreous fiber). The ongoing pulmonary morbidity and mortality studies of workers involved with RCF manufacturing have identified an association between duration of employment in RCF manufacturing jobs and the occurrence of pleural plaques on chest radiographs. There are ongoing investigations of the health effects of absorbent gelling material, solvent exposure and reproductive / auto-immune disorders, bronchiolitis obliterans, and breath analysis assessment of solvent exposures. Faculty members are also evaluating genotoxic changes associated with low-level solvent and fuel exposures.

Occupational Pulmonary Services within the division is investigating new techniques for evaluating longitudinal pulmonary function testing data for purposes of epidemiologic and individual trending analysis. This analysis is used to distinguish true change from intra and inter-subject variability with serial measurements of lung function. Faculty members are also studying occupational asthma through electronic ambulatory monitoring of lung function and the development of bronchoprovocation challenge procedures. The development and evaluation of respirator fit testing methods and leak checks are another area of active research. Recently, efforts have been directed at the examination of the utility of various fit check maneuvers in assessing adequate fit in wearers of industrial respirators.

Occupational Medicine residents in the training program are very actively involved in a variety of research projects including their Masters Thesis research.

Closely affiliated with the division is the University of Cincinnati's Center for Occupational Health, which is a multi-disciplinary clinical center that provides occupational health services to individuals and communities throughout Cincinnati and the Midwest. Core faculty members from the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics administer as well as staff the Center's activities. The Center for Occupational Health is recognized in the field of Occupational and Environmental Health as a comprehensive resource for employers, employees and health professionals.

The division is also involved in offering consultative and clinical services to selected occupational and environmental populations in various exposure settings. Exposures of special interest to faculty members within the division include: metal working fluids, solvents, hydrogen cyanide, mercury, and lead.

  Contact Information:

The Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
3223 Eden Ave. Kettering Building (ML#0056)
Cincinnati OH 45267-0056

Phone: (513) 558-0030
Fax: (513) 558-6272