John P. Wargo

Tweedy-Ordway Professor of Environmental Health and Political Science at Yale University.
Chair, Yale College Environmental Studies Major and Program.
Visiting and Consulting Professor at Yale-NUS College.
Visiting Professor, Universit├Ąt Basel, Switzerland, Graduate School of Law and Economics.

Photo of John P. Wargo


Tel: 203 432-5123



Ph.D. and Masters degrees, Yale University
and BA degree, University of Pennsylvania


Research Priorities:  Professor Wargo has focused research to understand threats to human health posed by environmental hazards.  He has concentrated on the susceptibility of children and pregnant women, and has evaluated the effectiveness of law in reducing environmental threats to human health.  He has written about human exposures to pesticides, vehicle emissions, toxins in foods, plastics, flame-retardants, metals, and chemicals in built environments.  He is currently writing a book examining environmental and health challenges associated with the global food system.
Professor Wargo wrote Green Intelligence published by Yale University Press in September 2010.  The book won the Independent Publishers Award: Gold Medal in Environment, Ecology and Nature; Scientific American Favorite Science Book of 2010; won the Connecticut Book Award for Non-Fiction.
He also wrote Our Children’s Toxic Legacy, published by Yale University Press presenting a history of pesticide law and science. This book won the American Publishers’ Association Prize for the best Book in Political Science the year it was released.
He is co-author of Ecosystems: Balancing Science and Management, published by Springer-Verlag.
He developed many of the analyses that provided the basis for two National Academy of Sciences Press books on chemical hazards in food including Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children, and The Delaney Paradox: Regulating Pesticides in Food.
Teaching Interests:  Professor Wargo teaches doctoral, masters and undergraduate students in the area of environmental law, politics, and human health risk assessment.  Topical areas of research include: agriculture, food safety, pesticides, air pollution, land use, National Seashores, Fish and Wildlife Refuges, and hazardous site restoration. Professor Wargo has supervised 15 doctoral students’ research on diverse domestic and international problems involving land use, environmental health, chemical management, risk assessment and law. His course, Environmental Politics and Law and its 24 lecturers are freely accessible in video and translated into 50 languages on the website Open Yale (
Public Service:  Wargo has testified before U.S. Senate and House Committees recommending legal strategies to protect children from environmental hazards, and has been an advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, the Vice President’s office, several EPA administrators, and the current Secretary of Agriculture. He has been a member of EPA’s Scientific Advisory Panel/Board on Pesticides, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientific panels, and has advised the U.N.’s World Health Organization, and Food and Agriculture Organization on malaria control, food safety, and pesticide control standards.