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About NIEHS

NIEHS...What's that all about?


  National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences logo

NIEHS - that’s the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. NIEHS is part of the National Institutes of Health, and studies the effects of the environment on human health.

  panoramic view of N.I.E.H.S.

So...what is environmental health? Our environment is everything around us:

  • the air we breathe
  • the water we drink and use for cooking and bathing
  • the land where we play
  • where we grow our food
  • our homes, buildings, and towns.

To learn more about the environment, visit our storybook, Sharon Finds the Environment .  

Here at NIEHS we study how the environment can cause health problems from A to Z — like Asthma, Cancer, Lead, or even Zinc! Can you think of a health problem that might be related to our environment for every letter of the alphabet?

Give our Science Challenge - A to Z game a try.  You'll have some fun, and might learn something too.

And don't forget to visit Getting Your Own Lab Coat to learn more about science careers.

North Carolina outline Where does NIEHS do all this work for you?

NIEHS is located in North Carolina in a beautiful park called the Research Triangle Park. The Park is centered in the middle of a triangle formed by the cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Each of those cities is the home for a major university, which attracts scientists and students from all over the world. They come to the Research Triangle Park area to study many subjects, including medical research.

By working with the universities located all around us and with other people all over the world, we are able to share what we learn. After all, two (or more) heads are better than one! And by working together, we can produce better science for you. The N.I.E.H.S. lake

One of the things that NIEHS employees enjoy the most is our wonderful work "environment." We are located next to a beautiful lake that is surrounded by natural woods filled with all kinds of wildlife, including beaver, deer, and hundreds of Canada Geese.

Sometimes our Canada Geese like the NIEHS "manmade" environment more than their natural one This "Mother Goose" decided to lay her eggs in one of our planters. Can you see the little goslings peeking out beneath her?

An NIEHS planter makes a super nest!

Canada Goose sitting on her babies in NIEHS planter

There are many other beautiful birds visiting the NIEHS campus and the lake; learn about our Bird Friends at NIEHS! . Then try our Matching Game for NIEHS Birds! to see how much you know about our bird friends here at NIEHS.

Having such a nice place to work helps NIEHS scientists do their very best when studying the many health problems that may be caused by our environment.

NIEHS has produced some of the top scientific research efforts in the world. In fact, one of our scientists even won the Nobel Prize! And many others have made discoveries that are really important to you and your family's good health.

Visit Fun & Games , Scientific Kids , and Discover & Explore to see all the other fun we have in store for kids!

More on NIEHS for Parents and Teachers 

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is one of the National Institutes of Health  within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services . The National Toxicology Program is also headquartered on the NIEHS campus in Research Triangle Park, NC. Many people are helped each year by the medical and scientific research performed by the National Institutes of Health and the National Toxicology Program. NIEHS is the organization within NIH that studies the effects of the environment on human health.

The NIEHS Kids' Pages are produced by the Office of Management, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, as an informational and educational resource for all ages. The intent of this website and its goals are described in greater detail at: Purpose, Character of Use, and Authorization. If you need assistance with any portion of the NIEHS Kids' Pages, please let us know at (919) 541-0395, PO Box 12233, RTP, NC 27709.

And for more information, lesson plans, and resources visit our Parents & Teachers pages. 

NIEHS Overview(632KB)

NIEHS Pocket Card(229KB)


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