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Multimedia Environmental Simulations Laboratory (MESL) was established in 1993 to provide scientific and technical expertise to government, educational and private organizations in the area of environmental simulation and analysis.

In the present day earth adverse toxic perturbations introduced to the environment by mankind has raised fundamental questions about our understanding of various processes in environmental, geochemical and biological cycles, and fate of these toxic substances in multimedia environments. More and more, scientists are recognizing that the environment must be considered as a whole, and scientific and regulatory approaches alike must take into account the complex interactions between multimedia and intermedia pathways. These observations have added impetus to the general quest among environmental engineers, geohydrologists, health scientists and other members of the scientific community for understanding the interactions between these cycles and their effect on environment and ultimately on human health. Research activities within this field are closely linked with activities in subsurface, surface and atmospheric sciences and lie in the interfaces of two disciplines. These disciplines are the environmental sciences and toxicology and epidemiology fields of health sciences.

Pollutants released to the environment are distributed among environmental media such as air, water, soil, and vegetation, as a result of complex physical, chemical and biological processes. Thus, environmental pollution is a multimedia problem, and environmental assessment, exposure assessment and the design of appropriate environmental remediation and exposure evaluation methods require that we carefully consider the transport, fate, and accumulation of pollutants in the environment as a whole. Methods proposed to evaluate environmental or exposure characterization in this envirosphere must consider all pathways, and also the interactions between these pathways. In the scientific literature, the multimedia approach to environmental analysis is identified as Total Environmental Characterization (TEC).

MESL Vision: The vision for the MESL is delivering on the promise of excellence in environmental health research, education and outreach activities for the benefit of all people.

MESL Mission: The mission of the MESL is to provide a focused, interdisciplinary and self-sustaining structure that acts as a forum for creating new and integrating research, education and outreach programs for U.S. locally and for the environmental health community globally to respond to the environmental health issues of our present day societies. As a result of these efforts, MESL will act as a catalyst for integrating the environmental engineering sciences and health sciences fields yielding a conduit for exchange of information and for the creation of partnerships on a local and global level for the improvement of life standards of populations.

Personnel of MESL are dedicated to be at the forefront of this scientific field. To support environmental risk-based decisions, MESL develops, tests, applies simulation tools, and provides technical support to government, educational and private organizations in the area of environmental simulations, exposure and ecosystem response modeling, health risk and uncertainty analysis, and site specific evaluations. In this context a wide variety of analysis techniques are provided, ranging from simple desk-top techniques suitable for screening analysis, to sophisticated, state-of-the-art, GIS integrated continuous simulation models to assess and manage environmental risks to humans and ecosystems.

Prof. M. M. Aral, Director