From Radiation to Vaccination: A Timeline

The roots of Environmental Health and Safety at Princeton can be traced to 19th century public health measures to improve sanitation and stop the spread of infectious disease. Even as efforts to prevent illness and workplace injury gained momentum in the early 20th century, little thought was given to mitigating risks in the research environment until the dawn of the Cold War era. The history of EHS and University Health Services began to part ways in the 1950s, when federally-mandated health physics programs were put in place to combat risks associated with radioactive materials.

The timeline is viewable below in graphical and web-based versions. A downloadable PDF of the graphical version is viewable here.

EHS Timeline 50 Years
Forrestal Campus 1950s


Forrestal Center Founded

Federal funding requires new environmental health standards leading to Health Physics Section overeseeing radiation safety.  

Radiation Sign


Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) established

In 1961 Princeton University established the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) to manage and oversee the use of sources of radiation by its researchers.

Jack Faust Headshot


Director of Environmental Health Position Created

After a string of lab accidents in the mid to late '60s, ad-hoc Committee on Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology makes recommendation of a full-time, permanent industrial hygienist. Jack Faust is named Director of Environmental Health.

Nixon Signs Bill Creating OSHA

1970 dec 29

Richard Nixon Signs Occupational Safety and Health Act

The act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

Founding Letter

1971 sep 30

Office of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Created

In a letter from President Robert Goheen, the Office of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is created with Faust as director. The new office overseeing workplace and research safety programs is housed on Forrestal Campus.

Read: An Office Founded Out of Necessity


Subcommittee on Biohazardous Research

The Subcommittee on Biohazardous Research is established, later renamed the Institutional Biosafety Committee.

Respiratory Protection Shaundree


Respiratory Protection Policy

Committee on Occupational Safety and Health adopts respiratory protection policy.

Garth Walters 2013


Garth Walters Becomes OHS Director

Jack Faust is succeeded as director by Garth Walters, who oversees expanded initiatives in workplace, biological and lab safety.

EHS Old Card


OHS Becomes EHS

In 1997, the name of the office is changed to Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). Oversight is transferred from University Health Services to central administration.

262 Alexander Street


EHS Moves to 262 Alexander

EHS leaves its longtime home on the Forrestal Campus to occupy a new location on Alexander Street near the intersection with Faculty Road.



Committee on Safety and Health Renamed

Committee on Safety and Health renamed Environmental Safety and Risk Management Committee (ESRM) to encompass expanded focus.

ACS Logo Wide


ACS University Health and Safety Award

Princeton University presented with the American Chemical Society’s 2010 SafetyStratus College and University Health and Safety Award. The annual award recognizes chemical safety programs in higher education demonstrating excellence in training, compliance, waste management, storage, policies and reporting. 

Robin Izzo


Robin Izzo Named EHS Director

In 2013, Walters was succeeded as director of EHS operations by Robin Izzo, who began her Princeton career as an industrial hygienist in 1992. Izzo's title is now Assistant Vice President, EHS, reflecting the expanded role of her position in the University.

Meningitis Half Not Enough


Meningitis Outbreak

A meningitis outbreak prompts an expanded public health role for EHS, working in tandem with University Health Services and other departments on campus. 

CSHEMA Safety Award 2018


CSHEMA Complete Safety Award of Honor

Princeton EHS awarded the Complete Safety Award of Honor at the CSHEMA 2018 Annual Conference in Baltimore. The Complete Safety Award of Honor is the highest institutional honor awarded by CSHEMA, the pre-eminent organization serving the EHS community in higher education. 

Safe and Sound Campaign


Safe + Sound Campaign

EHS participates in OSHA’s Safe+ Sound campaign, earning national exposure for our “You’ve Been Caught” promotion focusing on giving thanks and recognizing workers for following safe practices.

Tiger Face Covering


COVID-19 Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic prompts an unprecedented public health effort at Princeton. Robin Izzo becomes de-facto "incident commander" of a comprehensive planning, response and communications effort. EHS takes a lead role in crafting policy, providing PPE and managing other virus mitigation responses around campus.

VacStatus Info


Testing and Vaccination Rollout

EHS works with University Health Services and other campus partners in instituting a University-wide testing program and app in 2020, and vaccination compliance and tracking system in early 2021.