Dr. Phil Landrigan and Dr. Ruth Etzel on Children's Environmental Health

March 13, 2014
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

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Dr. Landrigan and Dr. Etzel: Textbook of Children's Environmental Health

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Though a number of books have been written on children's environmental health over the years, The Textbook of Children's Environmental Health, published in January 2014, provides one of the most comprehensive overviews of the research and clinical applications to date. The editors of this new volume, Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, and Ruth Etzel, MD, PhD, have been guiding lights in the burgeoning children's environmental health field over the last three decades. Their efforts to integrate environmental health into medical school curricula, galvanize support for seminal new research, and translate emerging science into more child-protective public health policy nationally and globally have prompted far wider recognition of these concerns. With this publication, they provide the scientific basis in clear and accessible language for why promoting children's environmental health now is essential for a healthy, thriving society in the future. On this CHE Cafe call Dr. Landrigan and Dr. Etzel discussed their book in greater detail and how it can be used to generate positive action towards improving children's health.

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Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, the Ethel H. Wise Professor of Preventive Medicine, is a pediatrician and epidemiologist. He has been a member of the faculty of Mount Sinai School of Medicine since 1985 and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine since 1990. He was named Dean for Global Health in 2010. Dr. Landrigan is also the director of the Children's Environmental Health Center. In 1987, Dr. Landrigan was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He served as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine and editor of environmental research. He has published more than 500 scientific papers and five books. He has chaired committees at the National Academy of Sciences on Environmental Neurotoxicology and on Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. From 1995 to 1997, Dr. Landrigan served on the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veteran's Illnesses. In 1997-1998, Dr. Landrigan served as senior advisor on children's health to the administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency and was instrumental in helping to establish a new Office of Children's Health Protection at EPA. From 2000-2002, Dr. Landrigan served on the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board. Dr Landrigan served from 1996 to 2005 in the Medical Corps of the United States Naval Reserve. He retired in 2005 at the rank of Captain. He continues to serve as surgeon general of the New York Naval Militia, New York's Naval National Guard. Dr. Landrigan is known for his many decades of work in protecting children against environmental threats to health. His research combines the tools of epidemiology with biological markers derived from clinical and laboratory medicine. Dr. Landrigan is deeply committed to translating research into strategies for health protection and disease prevention.

RuthEtzelRuth Etzel, MD, PhD, has a broad background in public health, with specific training and expertise in pediatrics, preventive medicine and children’s environmental health. After completing a residency in pediatrics, Dr. Etzel was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During 20 years as a commissioned officer in the US Public Health Service, Dr. Etzel served in a variety of public-sector leadership positions including US CDC (founding chief of the Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch), US Department of Agriculture (director of the Division of Epidemiology and Risk Assessment) and US Indian Health Service (research director at the Alaska Native Medical Center). Dr. Etzel is the founding editor of Pediatric Environmental Health (a 3rd edition was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2011). This influential book has helped to train thousands of doctors who care for children about how to recognize, diagnose, treat and prevent illness in children from hazards in the environment. She has worked extensively with international organizations to educate health professionals about environmental health and to build their capacity to conduct environmental investigations. From 2009 to 2012 she served as the senior officer for Environmental Health Research in the Department of Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

The call was moderated by Elise Miller, MEd, director of CHE.