Science and Technical Assistance

CHEJ’s Science and Technical Assistance Program is available to anyone concerned about exposure to toxic chemicals in their community, home, workplace or school. We offer expert one-on-one scientific consultations and provide the facts you need to make a case, from health studies that link incinerators to cancer to proof that all landfills leak to the environmental record of a company that wants to build a plant in your community.

CHEJ’s science staff—led by staff toxicologist, Stephen Lester, who holds a Master of Science degree in Toxicology from Harvard University School of Public Health—provides site-specific information and personal assistance to leaders and their communities at no cost.

We aim to demystify the scientific aspect of environmental health issues by evaluating technical reports and information, guiding communities through the maze of technical information, distinguishing good information from bad and translating jargon into plain language. Services include:

  • Serving as an on-call technical advisor to group leaders
  • Reviewing and evaluating data and analyses from air, water and soil tests
  • Reviewing and evaluating technical reports, health studies and site proposals
  • Meeting with groups to answer questions, educate the public about a local environmental health risk or evaluate scientific information or data
  • Preparing specific guidebooks, written for the layperson, on how to use technical information to win a community victory

If you want to ask CHEJ to review testing data, a cleanup plan or health study, prepare a short summary of your situation and the information you have. Many times it is not necessary to send CHEJ everything you have to review for an initial review. Consider what you need from CHEJ. Do you want to know if the levels of chemicals are unsafe, if the cleanup plan is adequate or if the number of children with disease is unusually high?

Stephen and CHEJ’s science staff can be reached during business hours at (703) 237-2249 or at (Many people ask for assistance but our staff is limited, so please let us know your time frame to help us prioritize).

Training Workshops

CHEJ’s science staff also provides workshops that focus on understanding and using scientific information to advance the goals of a groups. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • What Can Health Studies Tell You About Health Problems In Your Community?
  • Science for the People
  • Cancer Clusters
  • Government Standards: How Health Effects from Exposure to Toxic Chemicals are Evaluated
  • Understanding the Risk Assessment Process
  • Environmental Testing