Faculty Profile

Richard Neitzel

Richard (Rick) Neitzel, PhD, MS, CIH, FAIHA

  • Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
  • Professor, Global Public Health
  • Director, Center for Occupational Health and Safety Engineering

Rick Neitzel is an exposure scientist whose research focuses on the characterization of exposures to noise, heavy metals and other ototoxins, psychosocial stressors, and injury risk factors, as well as a range of adverse health effects associated with these exposures. His work, and the work of his team in the UM Exposure Research lab, takes place in occupational and community settings both domestically and abroad. He is particularly interested in incorporating new methodologies and exposure sensing technologies into research, and also has a strong interest in translating his research findings into occupational and public health practice.  He directs the UM Global Public Health certificate program, and is also Director of the UM Center for Occupational Health and Safety Engineering and the UM Industrial Hygiene program.

Prior to his appointment to the faculty of the UM Department of Environmental Health Sciences, he worked as a Research Scientist in the University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences from 1998-2011.  He is a Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association and has been a Certified Industrial Hygienist since 2003. 
  • Watch Rick talk about ideas of public health practice concerning noise exposure.
  • Hear Rick talk about how noise exposure affects our health
  • Watch Rick talk about the occupational health discipline of industrial hygiene
  • Learn more about noise exposures associated with various jobs and industries via our Noise Job Exposure Matrix.
  • Learn more about our groundbreaking Apple Hearing Study

  • PhD, Environmental and Occupational Hygiene, University of Washington, 2009
  • MS, Environmental Health, University of Washington, 1998
  • BS, Safety, University of Southern California, 1996

Research Interests:

Industrial hygiene, occupational health, noise exposure, hearing loss, ototoxins, occupational injuries, environmental and occupational justice

Research Projects:

Neitzel is the principle investigator of the nationwide Apple Hearing Study, a 5-year study that is assessing exposures to environmental and headphone sound among 150,000 participants, and evaluating the impacts of those exposures on hearing and cardiovascular health.

Neitzel has collaborations in several global settings (Thailand, Chile, and Sweden) to address occupational and environmental hazards.
Through a number of funding mechanisms Neitzel develops and applies novel exposure assessment methods and technologies to better understand potentially harmful exposures to chemical and physical agents and injury risks in workplace and community settings.

Neitzel has created and leveraged the US/Canada Job Exposure Matrix for Occupational Noise, a resource for occupational and public health practitioners and researchers.

Neitzel directs the NIOSH-funded UM Center for Occupational Safety and Health Engineering and the UM industrial hygiene program.

Neitzel RL, Smith L, Wang L, Green G, Block J, Carchia M Mazur K, DePalma G, Azimi R, Villanueva B. Toward a better understanding of non-occupational sound exposures and associated health impacts: Methods of the Apple Hearing Study. J Acoust Soc Am 2022, https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0009620 

Shkembi A, Smith LM, Roberts B, Neitzel RL. Fraction of acute work-related injuries attributable to hazardous occupational noise across the US in 2019. Occup Environ Med 2021 Oct 25 2021. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2021-107906.

Neitzel RL, Fligor BJ. Risk of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Due to Recreational Sound: Review and Recommendations. J Acoust Soc Am 2019 Nov;146(5):3911.

Sayler SK, Roberts B, Manning M, Sun K, Neitzel RL. Patterns and Trends in OSHA Occupational Noise Exposure Measurements from 1979 to 2013. Occup Environ Med. 2019;76:118-124

Sayler SK, Rabinowitz PM, Cantley LF, Galusha D, Neitzel RL. Costs and Effectiveness of Hearing Conservation Programs at 14 US metal manufacturing facilities. Int J Audiol. 2017 Dec 7:1-9. PMC6188788

Neitzel RL, Sayler SK, Long R, Sun K, von Thaden, T. Injury risk and noise exposure in firefighter training operations. Annals Occup Hyg 2016 May;60(4):405-20.

Hammer MS, Swinburn TK, Neitzel RL. Environmental Noise Pollution in the United States: Developing an Effective Public Health Response. Environ Health Perspect. 2014; 122(2):115-9.

View full list of publications on Google Scholar [link to https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=dxvuADkAAAAJandhl=en]

Email: rneitzel@umich.edu 
Office: 734-763-2870

Address: M6543 SPH II
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor MI 48109

For media inquiries: sph.media@umich.edu