San Diego State University

Penelope J.E. (Jenny) Quintana

Penelope J.E. Quintana

Penelope J.E. Quintana

Division of Environmental Health
Professor and MPH Program Graduate Advisor

Phone: (619) 594-1688
Office: HT 104

Download CV (pdf)


  • PhD, Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley (1990)
  • MPH, Occupational and Environmental Health, San Diego State University (1985)
  • BSc, Genetics, University of California, Davis (1983)

Scholarly Areas

  • Biological Monitoring of Human Populations for Measurement of Exposure, Genetic Damage or Genetic Susceptibility,
  • Exposure Assessment for Susceptible Populations, such as Children, Especially Through House Dust and Surfaces
  • US-Mexico Border Environmental Justice issues, especially Traffic-related Air Pollution


Dr. Penelope.J.E. Quintana is a Professor in the division of Environmental Health at the Graduate School of Public Health. She has a research focus on exposures to children and vulnerable populations at the US-Mexico border. She has assessed children’s exposure to toxicants in house dust and on surfaces, for example residual tobacco toxicants remaining after smoking has taken place, known as third-hand smoke.  In conjunction with researchers at Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Tijuana, she has studied markers of DNA damage in placentas from a Tijuana hospital, and exposure to toxic traffic pollutants inside vehicles and exposures to pedestrians waiting in lines to cross the US-Mexico border. She is the author of a recent report drawing attention to the long northbound wait times and lines of idling vehicles at US-Mexico Ports of Entry as an environmental justice issue for border crossers and surrounding communities. She is a Scientific Guidance Panel member for the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program.