Evelyn O Talbott

  • Professor, Epidemiology

Evelyn O. Talbott, Dr. PH, MPH, is a Professor of Epidemiology at the University Of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health with a secondary appointment in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders. Her areas of expertise are in cardiovascular and environmental epidemiology and she has authored over 220 peer reviewed articles and book chapters devoted to the subjects.


As an environmental epidemiologist with more than 35 years of experience, Dr Talbott’s work has centered upon both case-control as well as cohort studies of cancer incidence and mortality in populations exposed to personal or environmental risk factors such as air pollutants and toxicants. These have included numerous studies of cancer risk and environmental exposures within Pennsylvania as well as specific to SW Pennsylvania. Her work most recently has included several mapping related linkage studies of air toxics. She conducted the only 20-year cancer mortality and incidence cohort study in follow-up of 31,000 individuals exposed following the Three Mile Island Nuclear accident (1979- 1999) which occurred on March 29, 1979. (EHP, 2000, 2003).


She also investigated the risk of leukemia among community residents of an area in northeastern (Hazelton, PA) Pennsylvania affected by the Tranguch Gasoline Spill which occurred in the early 1990s as a result of community exposure to gasoline vapors. Benzene is a potent carcinogen and present in gasoline. Dr Talbott studied the risk of total leukemia and Acute Myelocyte Leukemia related to proximity to this spill and exposure to Benzene for the entire period 1990-2001. She also conducted numerous studies of both children and adults in other areas of Pennsylvania as well as specific to Western Pennsylvania including the Shalercrest childhood cancer cluster investigation in collaboration with the PA Dept of Health and the Canonsburg Uranium Mill Tailing Study (USEPA) (Health Effects of a Community Exposed to Toxic Wastes). From 2002-2014, Dr. Talbott assisted the CDC Tracking program as the Director of the University of Pittsburgh Center of Excellence in Public Health Tracking. She remains involved with the CDC in their ALS registry and in the investigation of occupation and residential pesticide exposure and risk of ALS.


She is a founding member of the ISEE, the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology and served as its Secretary-Treasurer for four years. She is a fellow of the American Heart Association and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention. She has over 220 publications and book chapters devoted to environmental and cardiovascular investigations and has successfully carried out over 25 retrospective case control and cohort investigations. She is the primary instructor for the Environmental Epidemiology program at the University and course director for Geospatial analysis in Community Health Studies in the Department of Epidemiology and has mentored as major advisor over 100 doctoral and master’s students.


Most recently, Dr. Talbott has extended her research about the health effects of hydraulic fracturing in Southwestern Pennsylvania. She serves as the Co-Principal Investigator for the Pennsylvania Department of Health-funded “Health Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing” trio of studies with Dr. Jeanine Buchanich, and she leads as the Principal Investigator of the childhood cancer case-control study. As a Washington County native, she has a vested interest in the health and wellbeing of Pennsylvania residents, especially as it relates to their risk of environmental cancers. This interview-based investigation focuses on environmental factors of the following pediatric cancers: childhood leukemias and lymphomas, central nervous system tumors, and bone cancers including Ewing Sarcoma. This ongoing study will conclude at the end of 2022.

  • Bethany College - B.S. Biology, 1969
  • University of Pittsburgh - M.P.H. Epidemiology, 1971
  • University of Pittsburgh - Dr.P.H. Epidemiology, 1976
  • Fellow of the American heart Association, council on Epidemiology and Prevention, 2001 to present
  • Geospatial Mapping and Spatial Analysis in Epidemiology 2221
  • Introduction to Environmental Epidemiology 2223
Selected Publications

Click here to view a complete list of my published work in my bibliography

1. Talbott EO, Youk AO, McHugh KP, Shire JD, Zhang A, Murphy BP, Engberg RA. Mortality among the residents of the Three Mile Island accident area: 1979-1992. Environ Health Perspect. 2000 Jun:108(6):545-52. PubMed PMID: 10856029. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1638153.

2. Talbott EO, Youk AO, McHugh-Pemu KP, Zborowski JV. Long-term follow-up of the residents of the Three Mile Island accident area: 1979-1998. Environ Health Perspect. 2003 Mar;111(3):341-8. PubMed PMID: 12611664. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1241392.

3. Han YY, Youk AO, Sasser H, Talbott EO. Cancer incidence among residents of the Three Mile Island accident area: 1982-1995. Environ Res. 2011 Nov:111(8):1230-5. PubMed PMID: 21855866.

4. Stacy SL, Buchanich JM, Ma ZQ, Mair C, Robertson L, Sharma RK, Talbott EO, Yuan JM. Maternal Obesity, Birth Size, and Risk of Childhood Cancer Development. Am J Epidemiol. 2019 May 20. pii: kwz118. doi:10.1093/aje/kwz118. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31107539

5. Talbott EO, Xu X, Youk AO, Rager JR, Stragand JA, Malek AM. Risk of leukemia as a result of community exposure to gasoline vapors: a follow-up study. Environmental research. 2011; 111(4):597-602. PubMed [journal] PMID: 21453914