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Jessica Levasseur

Doctoral Candidate in Environmental Exposure, Duke University

About Jessica

Levasseur's research focuses on environmental health and exposure science, where she measures both how we are exposed to everyday chemicals and to which chemicals we are exposed to both at home and at work. Overarching themes in Levasseur's writings include public awareness of chemical exposures, advocacy for better testing of chemicals before introduction into the supply chain, and increased transparency of ingredient labels.

In the News

Jessica Levasseur quoted by Alka Tripathy-Lang, "How Can Silicone Wristbands Help Firefighters?" EOS, July 8, 2022.
"Firefighters Are Exposed to Higher Levels of ‘Forever-Chemical’ on the Job, Study Shows," Jessica Levasseur, Interview with Kelly Kenoyer, WHQR Public Media, May 31, 2022.
Jessica Levasseur quoted by Firehouse Staff, "Study: FFs Exposure to Cancer-Causing Chemicals Can Be Cheaply Tracked " Firehouse, May 26, 2022.


"Structural Racism, Place, and COVID-19: A Narrative Review Describing How We Prepare for an Endemic COVID-19 Future" (with Leah V. Estrada, Alexandra Maxim, Gabriel A. Benavidez, and Keshia M. Pollack Porter). Health Equity 6, no. 1 (2022): 356–366.

Summarizes the intersection between structural racism and place as contributors to COVID-19 health disparities. Details how a place is intricately intertwined with the results of structural racism, focusing on one's access to health systems and services and physical environment, including the outdoor air and drinking water. Understands how place-based inequities and structural racism contributed to the COVID-19 racial disparities in incidence and mortality. Addresses how structurally racist place-based health inequities through anti-racist policy strategies is one way to move the United States toward achieving health equity.

"Characterizing Firefighter’s Exposure to Over 130 SVOCs Using Silicone Wristbands: A Pilot Study Comparing On-Duty and Off-Duty Exposures" (with Kate Hoffman, Nicholas J. Herkert, Ellen Cooper, Duncan Hay, and Heather M. Stapleton). Science of The Total Environment 834 (2022).

Compares on-duty and off-duty exposures to better understand firefighter occupational exposures, both while responding to fires and while at the firehouse, helping us better understand why firefighter cancer diagnosis rates and cancer mortality are much higher than the general population. Uses silicone wristbands, measuring chemical exposures experienced by firefighters in Durham, NC.  Finds even though silicone wristbands have not yet been investigated for their ability to measure combustion-related exposures these relatively new passive sampling devices may be instrumental in further characterizing firefighter occupational exposures.

"Young Children’s Exposure to Phenols in the Home: Associations Between House Dust, Hand Wipes, Silicone Wristbands, and Urinary Biomarkers" (with Stephanie C. Hammel, Kate Hoffman, Allison L. Phillips, Sharon Zhang, Xiaoyun Ye, Antonia M. Calafat , Thomas F. Webster, and Heather M. Stapleton ). Environment International 147 (2021).

Discusses the home environment is an important source of exposure to some environmental phenol chemicals (such as triclosan in house dust). Suggests that silicone wristbands are a good way to measure exposure to some phenols, such as triclosan, parabens, and BPA.

"Children’s Exposure to Phthalates and Non-Phthalate Plasticizers in the Home: The TESIE Study" (with Stephanie C. Hammel, Kate Hoffman, Allison L. Phillips, Amelia M. Lorenzo, Antonia M. Calafat a d, Thomas F. Webster, and Heather M. Stapleton). Environment International 132 (2019).

Measures at-home exposures to phthalates and plasticizers for approximately 200 children in Central NC. Finds these endocrine-disrupting chemicals were found in nearly all samples, implying that children's health may be at risk due to continual exposure to these chemicals.