Eula Bingham was born in Covington, Kentucky, in 1929. She earned a B.S. in 1951 in Chemistry and Biology from Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky; an M.S. in 1954 in Physiology from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio; and a Ph.D. in 1958 in Zoology, also from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio. She began her career at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine in 1961 as a researcher who did pioneering work on chemical carcinogens. She contributed more than one hundred peer reviewed articles on occupational and environmental respiratory hazards; chemical carcinogenesis and related topics; and occupational and environmental health policy.
She served as a scientific and policy advisor for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health from 1972 to 1976, in the Department of Labor as an advisor on coke oven emissions and carcinogens (1973–75), in the National Academy of Sciences' Lead in Paint Commission (1974–75), in the Food and Drug Administration, and in the Environmental Protection Agency (1976–77).
President Jimmy Carter appointed her Director of OSHA, and she served through his administration, between 1977 and 1981. During her administration of OSHA notable regulatory activity included revised occupational lead exposure standard and promulgation of regulations on workers' "right to know" about workplace hazards. She later served as Vice President and University Dean for Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Cincinnati (1982–1990), and as a distinguished professor of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati.
In recognition of her numerous accomplishments, she has received honors and awards including:
- 2000 - David Platt Rall Award for Advocacy in Public Health, American Public Health Association
- 2000 - Ramazzini Award for Science and Policy, Collegium Ramazzini, Carpi, Italy
- 1999 - Mary O. Amdur Award, New York University.
- 1998 - Henry Smythe, Jr., Toxicologist Award, American Academy of Industrial Hygiene.
- 1995 - American Industrial Hygiene Association's Hamilton Award.
- 1994 - William Steiger Award, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.
- 1989 - Member, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences.
- 1989 - Jerry F. Stara Award, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH.
- 1984 - First Recipient of the William Lloyd Award for Occupational Safety, U.S. Steel Workers Union, Pittsburgh, PA.
- 1984 - Alice Hamilton Award, American Public Health Association.
- 1981 - Phil Hart Award, Urban Environment Conference, Washington, DC.
- 1981 - Doctor of Law (Honorary), College of Mount St. Joseph, Cincinnati, OH.
- 1980 - Rockefeller Foundation Public Service Award, Washington, D.C.
- 1980 - Julia Jones Award, New York Lung Association, American Lung Association, New York, NY
- 1980 - Homer N. Calver Award, American Public Health Association, Detroit, MI.
- 1979 - Doctor of Sciences (Honorary), Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY.
- "Department of Labor Nomination of Eula Bingham To Be an Assistant Secretary". The American Presidency Project. March 11, 1977.
- "Eula Bingham, PhD—Bridging Academia and Government". Journal of Epidemiology and Health. 2004.