Toxicologist - MPHI

LOCATION: Lansing, MI

CLOSING DATE: August 28, 2020

OPPORTUNITY TYPE: Job

JOB #: 16153

POSTED: July 28, 2020

Description:

Purpose:  This position will provide toxicological support to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Division of Environmental Health (DEH) in the Toxicology and Assessment Section (TAS).  The person in this position will complete various aspects of toxicology, including evaluation of best available science in toxicology and risk assessment, analyzing data and forming recommendations based on the data. The toxicologist collaborates with other federal, state, and local health, as well as regulatory agencies. The person in this position interacts with the public via meetings, telephone conversations, and field visits, responding to community health concerns.

 Duties and Responsibilities:

 Duty 1: (70% of time)

Conduct public health assessments at sites of environmental contamination, in accordance with federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) guidance. Such sites include: Superfund sites, Brownfields, chemical spills, fires involving hazardous waste, and other sites where real or perceived exposure to hazardous substances potentially threatens public health. More information on ATSDR public health assessments may be found here: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/hac/index.html. Health Assessments authored by the Toxicology and Assessment Section may be found here: http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71548_54783_54784-86359–,00.html.

 Uses technical and scientific knowledge to conduct chemical and site investigations.

Applies scientific judgment to address public health hazards.
Conducts evaluations of the physical, chemical, and toxicological properties of chemicals of concern at contaminated sites and assesses health hazards associated with exposure.
Compiles, analyzes, and interprets field and laboratory data related to toxic substances; obtains toxicological, biological, and chemical data and reports conclusions.
Effectively conveys public health messages to the public, health care professionals, and stakeholder groups.
Coordinates activities with other state agencies, the US EPA, the ATSDR, local health departments and other agencies for site investigation, evaluation, and communication of health and environmental messages.
Determines qualitative and quantitative adequacy of environmental sampling data. If data gaps exist, requests additional information from appropriate governmental agencies.
Assists with sampling designs and strategies.
Conducts site visits to make observations and collect information pertinent to site-related public health issues.
Identifies exposure pathways and determines if they are complete, potential, or incomplete.
Attends public meetings to address questions and concerns of affected citizens and groups.
Maintains records and correspondence related to public health assessments.
Recommends and identifies parties to carry out public health actions based on conclusions reached in health consultations.
Prepares or reviews Public Health Consultation reports, executive summaries, fact sheets, and other documents and presentations related to this site.
Determines whether public health actions are being implemented.
Duty 2: (10% of time)

Communicates technical information on projects to the interested public.

 Provides technical information about contaminated sites and the health assessment process to interested parties.

Discusses chemical exposure concerns with and answers questions from the public on the Toxic and Health Hotline, via email, the website, and at public meetings.
Collaborates with Health Educators and other agencies to develop fact sheets and other non-technical reports on sites of environmental contamination for affected communities, local health care providers, and local responders.
Determines need and collaborates with Health Educators to develop fact sheets for general toxicological and public health issues.

Duty 3: (15% of time)

Maintains and expands knowledge of developments in the area of environmental toxicology, risk assessment, epidemiology, and risk communication.

 Participates in the Michigan multi-agency Toxics Steering Group (TSG); discussing current issues in toxicology and making recommendations to the Michigan Department of Energy, Great Lakes and Environment.

May be asked to participate in TSG subcommittees formed to address toxicological issues of importance to regulatory programs and/or public health.
May be asked to participate in ATSDR and EPA-hosted national and regional workshop meetings and participates in panels and presentations to share knowledge and experience.
Maintains working knowledge of the development and use of state and federal environmental regulatory criteria.
Reviews scientific literature on chemicals of interest.
Attends training sessions to increase knowledge of statistical, regulatory, research, and community involvement processes.
Attends and participates in local, state, and national meetings, conferences, and seminars on related technical topics and issues.
Duty 4: (5% of time)

All other duties as assigned to support the Unit, Section, Division, and Bureau.

Skills/Eligibility:

Qualifications/Requirements:

 

Education:  Possession of a master’s degree in toxicology or a physical, biological, environmental science, or public health related field.

 

Preferred Education:  Master’s or doctoral degree in toxicology.

 

Alternate Education: Possession of a master’s or doctoral degree in a physical, biological, environmental science, or public health related field, with adequate coursework in toxicology, chemistry, physiology, histology, pathology, statistics, environmental science, microbiology, physical or environmental chemistry, anatomy, pharmacology, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, vertebrate biology, or zoology.

 

Experience:  None to many years of experience assessing and controlling the impact of toxic substances on human health and environment.

 

Equivalent combinations of education and experience that provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities will be evaluated on an individual basis.

 

Important Skills and Characteristics:

Knowledge of the general principles, practices and procedures of toxicology, biology, and chemistry.
Knowledge of the relationships between the toxicological, physical and chemical properties of chemicals.
Knowledge of basic toxicology concepts and terms.
Ability to convey technical information to the public through written and oral communication.
Ability to maintain records and document reports in accordance with departmental guidance.
Ability to prioritize and concurrently assess multiple sites.
Work Environment and Physical Requirements:  Standard office environment and physical requirements typical of an office position. The only physical effort required in this position would be the carrying of a mercury vapor analyzer machine, less than 10 pounds in weight, if the toxicologist attends to a mercury spill event. The employee may attend one of these calls several times per year.  The employee may be exposed to unpleasant and noxious fumes and odors when conducting site visits. These sites are usually outside, and the employee would be exposed to local weather conditions. Site visits may occur up to two to three times a month. Requires valid vehicle operator’s license and may include occasional travel within the State, including overnights. Less occasionally, travel may be required outside the State.

 

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WORK OF OTHERS: No assigned responsibility.

 

IMPACT ON PROJECTS, SERVICES AND OPERATIONS:  This position supports activities that are important functions of the Division of Environmental Health. The results of these activities will help assure that Michigan communities are protected from the hazards of vapor intrusion, non-biological substances in groundwater, and other chemical hazards in the environment. This position will provide support to key professional staff with duties related to this activity and will support other similar activities within DHHS.  This position interacts with the public, local health departments and other State of Michigan agencies via meetings, telephone conversations, and field visits.

About MPHI

The Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation created by the state of Michigan in 1990.  MPHI is a full-service research, development, and educational organization and has a unique blend of public and private sector resources working together toward a common goal; to improve the health of Michigan’s citizens.  The Institute has

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Toxicologist - MPHI

LOCATION: Lansing, MI

CLOSING DATE: August 28, 2020

OPPORTUNITY TYPE: Job

JOB #: 16153

POSTED: July 30, 2020

Description:

Purpose:  This position will provide toxicological support to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Division of Environmental Health (DEH) in the Toxicology and Assessment Section (TAS).  The person in this position will complete various aspects of toxicology, including evaluation of best available science in toxicology and risk assessment, analyzing data and forming recommendations based on the data. The toxicologist collaborates with other federal, state, and local health, as well as regulatory agencies. The person in this position interacts with the public via meetings, telephone conversations, and field visits, responding to community health concerns.

 Duties and Responsibilities:

 Duty 1: (70% of time)

Conduct public health assessments at sites of environmental contamination, in accordance with federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) guidance. Such sites include: Superfund sites, Brownfields, chemical spills, fires involving hazardous waste, and other sites where real or perceived exposure to hazardous substances potentially threatens public health. More information on ATSDR public health assessments may be found here: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/hac/index.html. Health Assessments authored by the Toxicology and Assessment Section may be found here: http://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71548_54783_54784-86359–,00.html.

 Uses technical and scientific knowledge to conduct chemical and site investigations.

Applies scientific judgment to address public health hazards.
Conducts evaluations of the physical, chemical, and toxicological properties of chemicals of concern at contaminated sites and assesses health hazards associated with exposure.
Compiles, analyzes, and interprets field and laboratory data related to toxic substances; obtains toxicological, biological, and chemical data and reports conclusions.
Effectively conveys public health messages to the public, health care professionals, and stakeholder groups.
Coordinates activities with other state agencies, the US EPA, the ATSDR, local health departments and other agencies for site investigation, evaluation, and communication of health and environmental messages.
Determines qualitative and quantitative adequacy of environmental sampling data. If data gaps exist, requests additional information from appropriate governmental agencies.
Assists with sampling designs and strategies.
Conducts site visits to make observations and collect information pertinent to site-related public health issues.
Identifies exposure pathways and determines if they are complete, potential, or incomplete.
Attends public meetings to address questions and concerns of affected citizens and groups.
Maintains records and correspondence related to public health assessments.
Recommends and identifies parties to carry out public health actions based on conclusions reached in health consultations.
Prepares or reviews Public Health Consultation reports, executive summaries, fact sheets, and other documents and presentations related to this site.
Determines whether public health actions are being implemented.
Duty 2: (10% of time)

Communicates technical information on projects to the interested public.

 Provides technical information about contaminated sites and the health assessment process to interested parties.

Discusses chemical exposure concerns with and answers questions from the public on the Toxic and Health Hotline, via email, the website, and at public meetings.
Collaborates with Health Educators and other agencies to develop fact sheets and other non-technical reports on sites of environmental contamination for affected communities, local health care providers, and local responders.
Determines need and collaborates with Health Educators to develop fact sheets for general toxicological and public health issues.

Duty 3: (15% of time)

Maintains and expands knowledge of developments in the area of environmental toxicology, risk assessment, epidemiology, and risk communication.

 Participates in the Michigan multi-agency Toxics Steering Group (TSG); discussing current issues in toxicology and making recommendations to the Michigan Department of Energy, Great Lakes and Environment.

May be asked to participate in TSG subcommittees formed to address toxicological issues of importance to regulatory programs and/or public health.
May be asked to participate in ATSDR and EPA-hosted national and regional workshop meetings and participates in panels and presentations to share knowledge and experience.
Maintains working knowledge of the development and use of state and federal environmental regulatory criteria.
Reviews scientific literature on chemicals of interest.
Attends training sessions to increase knowledge of statistical, regulatory, research, and community involvement processes.
Attends and participates in local, state, and national meetings, conferences, and seminars on related technical topics and issues.
Duty 4: (5% of time)

All other duties as assigned to support the Unit, Section, Division, and Bureau.

Skills/Eligibility:

Qualifications/Requirements:

 

Education:  Possession of a master’s degree in toxicology or a physical, biological, environmental science, or public health related field.

 

Preferred Education:  Master’s or doctoral degree in toxicology.

 

Alternate Education: Possession of a master’s or doctoral degree in a physical, biological, environmental science, or public health related field, with adequate coursework in toxicology, chemistry, physiology, histology, pathology, statistics, environmental science, microbiology, physical or environmental chemistry, anatomy, pharmacology, epidemiology, industrial hygiene, vertebrate biology, or zoology.

 

Experience:  None to many years of experience assessing and controlling the impact of toxic substances on human health and environment.

 

Equivalent combinations of education and experience that provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities will be evaluated on an individual basis.

 

Important Skills and Characteristics:

Knowledge of the general principles, practices and procedures of toxicology, biology, and chemistry.
Knowledge of the relationships between the toxicological, physical and chemical properties of chemicals.
Knowledge of basic toxicology concepts and terms.
Ability to convey technical information to the public through written and oral communication.
Ability to maintain records and document reports in accordance with departmental guidance.
Ability to prioritize and concurrently assess multiple sites.
Work Environment and Physical Requirements:  Standard office environment and physical requirements typical of an office position. The only physical effort required in this position would be the carrying of a mercury vapor analyzer machine, less than 10 pounds in weight, if the toxicologist attends to a mercury spill event. The employee may attend one of these calls several times per year.  The employee may be exposed to unpleasant and noxious fumes and odors when conducting site visits. These sites are usually outside, and the employee would be exposed to local weather conditions. Site visits may occur up to two to three times a month. Requires valid vehicle operator’s license and may include occasional travel within the State, including overnights. Less occasionally, travel may be required outside the State.

 

RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WORK OF OTHERS: No assigned responsibility.

 

IMPACT ON PROJECTS, SERVICES AND OPERATIONS:  This position supports activities that are important functions of the Division of Environmental Health. The results of these activities will help assure that Michigan communities are protected from the hazards of vapor intrusion, non-biological substances in groundwater, and other chemical hazards in the environment. This position will provide support to key professional staff with duties related to this activity and will support other similar activities within DHHS.  This position interacts with the public, local health departments and other State of Michigan agencies via meetings, telephone conversations, and field visits.

About MPHI

The Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation created by the state of Michigan in 1990.  MPHI is a full-service research, development, and educational organization and has a unique blend of public and private sector resources working together toward a common goal; to improve the health of Michigan’s citizens.  The Institute has

More Information »