Dr. Beier's research focus is on environmental vinyl chloride exposure in the context of existing underlying liver disease. Clearly high occupational exposure to vinyl chloride is directly hepatotoxic; what is less well clear is the impact of lower environmental exposure on exacerbating existing liver disease. Given the fact that a significant portion of the population has risk factors for liver disease (most commonly, obesity), and that 30% of the US population has elevated indices of liver damage, any potential impact of low environmental exposure could be dramatic. Our findings indicate that indeed vinyl chloride will exacerbate liver damage caused by another factor. This work shifts the paradigm of current risk assessment for not only this compound, but any other environmental agent that may potentially damage the liver.