Science of Stress and Environmental Contamination

Community members living with environmental contamination may experience chronic stress for various reasons (e.g., health concerns, uncertainty, and community conflict), which can be compounded by feeling dismissed, powerless, unheard, or unsupported. Stress is a normal reaction to environmental contamination; it is not a mental health disorder. However, chronic stress can pose physiological health risks on top of the health risks associated with exposure to contaminants.

The research about community stress and resilience referenced in this Resource Center is drawn from decades of peer-reviewed and published literature, reports, and analysis.

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Page last reviewed: August 10, 2021