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Cora Roelofs

Headshot for Cora Roelofs
Cora Roelofs Research Professor

Research Interests

Preventing illness and injuries in working populations; opioids; vulnerable worker populations; asbestos; construction and nail salons; climate change and heat


  • Postdoc: Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion, (2003), Harvard University/DFCI Center for Community-based Research
  • Sc.D: Work Environment, (2001), University of Massachusetts Lowell
    Supporting Area: Industrial Hygiene and Cleaner Production
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: "Losing Controls: The case for a preventive industrial hygiene"
  • MS: Environmental and Occupational Health Science, (1996), Hunter College/City University of New York
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: "Does Health Pay? Economic Issues Related to the Lead in Construction Standard"


My career has been anchored by a mission to do research that could help protect workers and the environment. My Masters thesis on economic and policy issues related to protecting construction workers from lead exposure began an on-going effort to understand and influence policy related to worker protection. My doctoral work focused on synergistic protection of workers and the environment through toxics use reduction. Following a post-doc to expand my capacity to integrate occupational health and other areas of public health, I returned to UML to pursue funded research in occupational health and safety prevention science related to nail salons, immigrant and refugee workers, training strategies, construction, and, most recently, opioids and work injury.

Selected Publications

  • Shaw, W.S., Roelofs, C., Punnett, L. (2020). Work Environment Factors and Prevention of Opioid-Related Deaths. American journal of public health, 110(8) 1235-1241.
  • Levy, B.S., Roelofs, C. (2019). Impacts of Climate Change on Workers’ Health and Safety.
  • Roelofs, C. (2019). Opioids and Work: A Formative Research Assessment to Inform Educational Outreach. Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace
  • Hawkins, D., Roelofs, C., Laing, J., Davis, L. (2019). Opioid-related overdose deaths by industry and occupation-Massachusetts, 2011-2015. American journal of industrial medicine, 62(10) 815-825.
  • Marín, L.S., Roelofs, C. (2018). Engaging Small Residential Construction Contractors in Community-Based Participatory Research to Promote Safety. Annals of work exposures and health, 62(suppl_1) S72-S80.
  • Roelofs, C. (2018). Without Warning: Worker Deaths From Heat 2014-2016. New solutions : a journal of environmental and occupational health policy : NS, 28(2) 344-357.
  • Pavilonis, B., Roelofs, C., Blair, C. (2018). Assessing indoor air quality in New York City nail salons. Journal of occupational and environmental hygiene, 15(5) 422-429.
  • Marin, L.S., Roelofs, C. (2017). Promoting construction supervisors’ safety-efficacy to improve safety climate: training intervention trial. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 143(8) 04017037.
  • Roelofs, C. (2015). Latency attention deficit: Asbestos abatement workers need us to investigate. American journal of industrial medicine, 58(12) 1231-4.
  • Marin, L.S., Cifuentes, M., Roelofs, C. (2015). Results of a community-based survey of construction safety climate for Hispanic workers. International journal of occupational and environmental health, 21(3) 223-31.
  • Roelofs, C., Wegman, D. (2014). Workers: the climate canaries. (104:10 pp. 1799-801). American journal of public health
  • Roelofs, C., Kernan, G.J., Davis, L.K., Clapp, R.W., Hunt, P.R. (2013). Mesothelioma and employment in massachusetts: analysis of cancer registry data 1988-2003. American journal of industrial medicine, 56(9) 985-92.
  • Roelofs, C., Do, T. (2012). Exposure assessment in nail salons: an indoor air approach. ISRN Public Health, 2012.
  • Roelofs, C., Sprague-Martinez, L., Brunette, M., Azaroff, L. (2011). A qualitative investigation of Hispanic construction worker perspectives on factors impacting worksite safety and risk. Environmental health : a global access science source, 10 84.
  • Roelofs, C., Shoemaker, P., Skogstrom, T., Acevedo, P., Kendrick, J., Nguyen, N. (2010). The Boston Safe Shops model: an integrated approach to community environmental and occupational health. American journal of public health, 100 Suppl 1 S52-5.
  • Roelofs, C., Azaroff, L.S., Holcroft, C., Nguyen, H., Doan, T. (2008). Results from a community-based occupational health survey of Vietnamese-American nail salon workers. Journal of immigrant and minority health, 10(4) 353-61.
  • Roelofs, C. (2007). Preventing Hazards at the Source. AIHA
  • Barbeau, E.M., Goldman, R., Roelofs, C., Gagne, J., Harden, E., Conlan, K., Stoddard, A., Sorensen, G. (2005). A new channel for health promotion: building trade unions. American journal of health promotion : AJHP, 19(4) 297-303.
  • Roelofs, C. (2005). Using qualitative methods to evaluate and make change in the work environment. New solutions : a journal of environmental and occupational health policy : NS, 15(4) 337-41.
  • Roelofs, C., Barbeau, E.M., Ellenbecker, M.J., Moure-Eraso, R. (2003). Prevention strategies in industrial hygiene: a critical literature review. AIHA journal : a journal for the science of occupational and environmental health and safety, 64(1) 62-7.
  • Roelofs, C., Moure-Eraso, R., Ellenbecker, M.J. (2000). Pollution prevention and the work environment: the Massachusetts experience. Applied occupational and environmental hygiene, 15(11) 843-50.
  • Roelofs, C. (1999). Trade unions and cleaner production: perspectives and proposals for action. New solutions : a journal of environmental and occupational health policy : NS, 9(3) 277-95.

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Worker Education about Opioids (2017), Contract - Massachusetts Department of Public Health
    Punnett, L., Roelofs, C. (Co-Investigator)

Research Currently in Progress

  • Opioid Hazard Prevention with Sand, Stone and Gravel Workers

    Funded by the Alpha Foundation, this work is developing a tailored training module on opioid awareness for the required MSHA refresher safety training for the Massachusetts mining sector.
    Roelofs, C.