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College of Public Health

Ken Silver

Ken Silver

Associate Professor 
Department of Environmental Health 
423-439-4542 /
Lamb Hall Room 52


D.Sc., Environmental Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA (2003)

S.M., Environmental Health Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA (1990)

B.S., Chemistry, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (1982)


Certified Industrial Hygienist, American Board of Industrial Hygiene

Certified Safety Professional, Board of Certified Safety Professionals

Certified Hazardous Materials Manager, Institute of Hazardous Materials Management

Certified in Public Health, National Board of Public Health Examiners 


  • ENVH 4000 and 5870 - Public Health Law
  • ENVH 4340 Occupational Health ("Dirty Jobs")
  • ENVH 5780 - Characteristics of Hazardous Materials
  • ENVH 5700 Industrial Hygiene and Safety


  • DOE facilities
  • Occupational health for migrant, seasonal and other underserved populations
  • Environmental Health in "company towns"
  • Ethical and social implications of genetic testing of beryllium workers


Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 2016-present

Central Department of Energy Institutional Review Board, U.S. Department of Energy, 2005-present

Steering Committee for Tennessee Occupational Health and Safety Surveillance, Tennessee Department of Health, 2017-present


Odame, E., Li, Y., Zheng, S., Vaidyanathan, A., and Silver, K. Assessing heat-related mortality risks among rural populations: A systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological evidence. International Journal of Environmental Research in Public Health, 15(8): 1597 (July 2018)

Li, Y., Odame, E., Silver, K., and Zheng, S. Comparing urban and rural vulnerability to heat-related mortality: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Global Epidemiology and Environmental Health, 2017 (1), 9-15.

Silver, K., Davis, G.A., and Dobbin, D., Hazardous Waste. Chapter 18 In: Occupational and Environmental Health, 7th ed., Editors Barry S. Levy, David H. Wegman, Sherry L. Baron and Rosemary K. Sokas (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2017)

Silver, K., Special supplement on farm worker health [“Report back” to the community on the Migrant Section of ETSU’s Rural Track class], El Nuevo Tennessean (2017)  (Click here for Spanish version)

Kelley, R.I., Hoffman, K., Lara, M., Silver, K., Tomato Workers' Health and Safety:  A Guide for Health Care Providers  (Migrant Clinicians Network, 2017) 68 pp.

Silver, K., Bird, R., Smith, A., Valerio, D. and Romero, H., Harriet Hardy and the workers of Los Alamos: A campus-community historical investigation.  New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, 24(3): 303-319 (2014)

Littleton, M.A., Silver, K.Z., Ward, R., et al (2014). Community Partnership Interprofessional Program as Pedagogy: Process Outcomes and Faculty Impressions.  Journal of Research on Interprofessional Practice and Education, 4(2)

Silver K, Hoffman, K, Loury, S, Fethke NB, Liebman A, Manz N, (2014). A campus-community partnership for farmworkers' health:  Interventions for tomato workers in Tennessee. Progress in Community Health Partnerships, 8(4): 479-488

Loury, S., Bradfield, M., Florence, J., Silver, K., Hoffman, K. and Andino, A., Addressing the Health of Hispanic Migrant Farmworkers in Rural East Tennessee Through Interprofessional Education, Experiential Learning, and a University/Community Partnership, International Journal of Health Sciences Education, 1(1) (2013)

TN Workers:  Dying for a Job.  A Report on Worker Fatalities in Tennessee 2011 and 2012.  In Honor of Workers' Memorial Day April 28, 2013 [coalition of co-authors]  

Silver, K., Harriet Hardy and the workers of Los Alamos.  Brian Dolan and Paul Blanc, eds. At Work in the World: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on the History of Occupational and Environmental Health (San Francisco: UC Medical Humanities Press, 2012)

Silver, K., Kukulka, G., Gorniewicz, J., and Rayman, K., Genetic susceptibility testing for beryllium:  Worker Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes, Amer. J. of Industrial Med., 54(7): 521-32 (July 2011)

Dobbin, D., Turpin, R.D., Silver, K. et al, Hazardous Waste.  Chapter 10.  In:  Occupational Health:  Recognizing and Preventing Work-Related Disease and Injury, 5 th edition.  Levy, B.S., Wegman, D.H., Baron, S., and Sokas, R. Eds. (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2011), pp.

Silver, K. and Clapp, R., Environmental surveillance at Los Alamos:  an independent reassessment of historical data, Risk Analysis, 26(4): 893-906 (August 2006)

Silver, K. and Sharp, R., Ethical considerations in testing workers for the -Glu69 marker of genetic susceptibility to chronic beryllium disease, 48(4): 434-443 (April 2006)

Silver, K., The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.  AAOHN Journal, 53(6): 267-77 (June 2005) 


Aula, M.E. and Silver, K., Evaluation of tomato worker ergonomics using electromyography. Presented at the Human Factors and Applied Psychology Student Conference, Orlando, FL, January 25, 2019

Odame, E. and Silver, K., Assessing heat exposure in outdoor workers using meteorological data. Presented at the SouthON (CSTE) Meeting, Savannah, Georgia, April 5-6, 2018

Silver, K., Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation in the Southeastern U.S.: History and Status. Presented at the SouthON (CSTE) Meeting, Savannah, Georgia, April 5-6, 2018

Silver, K., Los Alamos Health Issues through Three Frames of Reference: Industrial America, the Atomic Complex, and Indigenous Communities. At Querencia Interrupted: Hispano and Native American Experiences of the Manhattan Project, Northern New Mexico College, Espaňola, NM, October 13, 2017.

Odame, E., Kelley, R., Crosnoe-Shipley, L., Florence, J., Hoffman, K., Loury, S., Manock, S., and Silver, K., Issues of health care disparities among migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs) in northeast Tennessee. Presented at the 9th National Conference on Health Disparities and Environmental Justice, Washington, D.C., March 9, 2016

Green, C.C. and Silver, K., Analysis of the Energy Claims Management System, 2001-2008. Roundtable organizer and presenter. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA  November 6, 2013

McQueen, S., Silver, K., Manock, S. et al, Evaluation of Heat Stress in Migrant Workers. Presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Boston, MA  November 4, 2013

Beryllium in the Workplace. From Advocacy to Access:  Asking Genetic Questions Around National Security Sites.  Tennessee Board of Regents' Qualitative Research Conference, Cookeville, TN October 15, 2012

Bennard, B., Florence, J., and Silver, K., Integrating occupational health into a third year medical clerkship in community medicine.  Roundtable presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA  October 31, 2012

Manz, N., Silver, K., Fethke, N., et al, Building a consensus for tomato worker ergonomics:  A community-expert panel study. Presentation at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA October 29, 2012

Silver, K. and Florence, J. A Campus-Community Partnership for Tomato Workers’ Health. Presented at the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium. Morgantown, WV.October 19, 2011

Hoffman, K., Silver, K., Manock, S., et al, Early occupational pesticide exposure in a migrant farmworker population. Presented at the NIOSH-NIEHS Conference on Eliminating Health Disparities at Work, Chicago, ILSeptember 15, 2011 [poster]


Evaluation of tomato worker ergonomics using electromyography. Co-Principal Investigator Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention, University of Kentucky. 2019

Toward Evidence-Based Management of Heat Stress for Crop Workers in Central Appalachia. Co-Principal Investigator. Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention, University of Kentucky, 2018

Train the Leaders:  Guided development, presentation and evaluation for a pesticide training curriculum by Latino youth.  Principal Investigator.  Tennessee Board of Regents, 2015-16.  

A Pilot Study to Evaluate a Culturally Effective Educational Program in the Prevention of Heat Stress Among Spanish Speaking Hispanic Farm Workers in Rural East Tennessee (NIOSH Ag Center at University of Kentucky) Co-Investigator, 2014

Tomato Worker Ergonomics:  REBA Panel Evaluation of Video. From Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention (NIOSH Ag Center at University of Kentucky).  Co-Principal Investigator, 2012

Florence, J. and Silver, K. Training Module on Occupational Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Injuries. HRSA Predoc Training in Primary Care, June 2009.

Silver, K. and Kukulka, G. Genetic Testing for Beryllium: Worker Knowledge, Beliefs and Attitudes,Center to Protect Workers’ Rights, November 2006


Exercise, travel, advocacy


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