Environmental Health Risk

Statistical methods for benchmark dose calculation for ordered categorical data and environmental exposure assessment for toxic chemicals and environment pollutants have been proposed, including permutation tests for fingerprint analysis of dioxin, hierarchical Bayesian models for exposure uncertainties in phthalate through dietary intakes, and temporal land use regression models for short-term air pollutant estimation. Health risk for haphazard intake of BSE-contaminated beef and exposed population size estimation for UK during the BES prevalence period 1980-1996 in the UK is established.

In 2011 Taiwan food scandal, illegal use of DEHP resulted in high degree exposure. Majority of child victims took contaminated probiotics due to allergy symptoms or diseases. The Risk Assessment of Phthalate Incident in Taiwan (RAPIT) Program is a program designed specially to assess the health status of children who were affected by the plasticizer contamination scandal. A total 253 children were recruited between August 2012 and February 2013 from northern, central and southern Taiwan. Sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyles, medical histories including standardized International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISSAC) Questionnaire, and tainted food consumption were collected using standardized questionnaire by trained interviewers. Similar protocol was done at first follow-up in year 2014. By the end of 2016, the second follow-up will be completed. Those children with high phthalate exposure levels or profound risk factors will be referred to special outpatient service for further intervention.


We have conducted exposure assessment of air pollution and related health outcomes.

  • Wu CF, Lin HI, Ho CC, Yang TH, Chen CC, Chan CC. Modeling horizontal and vertical variation in intraurban exposure to PM2.5 concentrations and compositions. Environmental Research 2014; 133: 96-102.
  • Chen CC, Wu CF, Yu HL, Chan CC, Cheng TJ. Spatiotemporal modeling with temporal-invariant variogram subgroups to estimate fine particulate matter PM 2.5 concentrations. Atmospheric Environment 2012; 54: 1-8..
  • Chen BY, Chan CC, Lee CT,…, Chen CC, et al. The association of ambient air pollution with airway inflammation in schoolchildren. American journal of epidemiology 2012; 175(8): 764-74.
  • Wu CF, Shen FH, Li YR, Tsao TM, Tsai MT, Chen CC, Hwang JS, Hsu SHJ, Chao H, Chuang KJ, Chou CCK, Wang YN, Ho CC, Su TC. Association of Short-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter and Nitrogen Dioxide with Acute Cardiovascular Effects. Science of the Total Environment 2016; Accepted.
  • Chen BY, Chao HJ, Chan CC, Lee CT, Wu HP, Cheng TJ, Chen CC, Guo YL Effects of fine particulates and fungal spores on lung function in schoolchildren. Pediatrics 2011; 127(3):E690–E698


We have performed health risk assessment for consumption of beef possibly contaminated with prion (mad-cow) disease infection material.

  • Chen CC, Wang YH. Estimation of the exposure of the U.K. population to the bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent through dietary intake during the period 1980 to 1996. PloS ONE 2014; 9(4): e94020.
  • Chen CC, Wang YH, Wu KY. Consumption of bovine spongiform encephalopathy contaminated beef and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob incidence. Risk Analysis 2013;33:1958–1968.


Methodologies for exposure and health risk assessment

  • *Chen CC, Chen J J. Benchmark dose calculation for ordered categorical responses. Risk Analysis 2014; 34(8):1435–1447.
  • *Chen CC, Wu KY, Chang-Chien GP. Point source identification using a simple permutation test: a case study of elevated PCDD/F levels in ambient air and soil and their relation to the distance to a local municipal solid waste incinerator. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment 2011; 25:929–937.
  • Chen CC, Sen PK, Wu KY. Robust permutation tests for homogeneity of fingerprint patterns of dioxin congener profiles. Environmetrics 2012; 23: 285–294.
  • *Chen CC, Shih MC, Wu KY. Environmental exposure reconstruction using repeated metabolite measurements in urine- An example with inhalation of trichloroethylene. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment 2012; 26(1):21–31.
  • Wang IJ, †Chen CC, Chan CC, Chen PC, Leonardi G, Wu KY. A hierarchical Bayesian approach for risk assessment of melamine in infant formula based on cases of related nephrolithiasis in children. Food Additives & Contaminants, Part A- Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure & Risk Assessment 2011; 28(4):384–395. (+: equal contribution 1st author)


We have conducted phthalate exposure assessment for the complainants of the plasticizer food scandal in Taiwan.

  • Hou JW, Lin CL, Tsai YA,…, Chen CC, Hsiung CA,…,et al. The effects of phthalate and nonylphenol exposure on body size and secondary sexual characteristics during puberty. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 2015; 218(7): 603-15.
  • Tsai HJ, Chen BH, Wu CF, Wang SL, Huang PC, Tsai YC, Chen ML, Ho CK, Hsiung CA*, Wu MT*. “Intake of phthalate-tainted foods and microalbuminuria in children: The 2011 Taiwan food scandal.” Environment International. 2016; 89-90: 129–137.
  • Chen CC, Wang SL, Wu MT, Wang YH, Huang PC, Chen BH, Sun CW, Ho CK, Shih YC, Shiu MN, Pan WH, Chen ML, Lee CC, Hsiung CA*. “Exposure Estimation for Risk Assessment of the Phthalate Incident in Taiwan.” PLoS ONE. 2016 Mar 9; 11(3):e0151070
  • Tsai YA, Lin CL, Hou JW, Huang PC, Lee MC, Chen BH, Wu MT, Chen CC, Wang SL, Lee CC, Hsiung CA*, Chen ML*. “Effects of high di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) exposure due to tainted food intake on pre-pubertal growth characteristics in a Taiwanese population.” Environmental Research. 2016; 149; 197–205.
  • Tsai HJ, Wu CF, Tsai YC, Huang PC, Chen ML, Wang SL, Chen BH, Chen CC, Wu WC, Hsu PS, Hsiung CA*, Wu MT*. “Intake of Phthalate-tainted Foods and Serum Thyroid Hormones in Taiwanese Children and Adolescents.” Scientific Report. 2016 Jul 29;6:30589. doi: 10.1038/srep30589.