Philip J. Landrigan
, M.D., M.Sc., is an American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
epidemiologist and pediatrician and one of the world's leading advocates of children's health.
His work has been recognized by national non-profit organization Healthy Child Healthy World
Healthy Child Healthy World is a national 5013 non-profit organization focused on improving children's health by eliminating toxic chemicals from their environments...
(Lifetime Achievement Award) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress...
(Child Health Champion Award), and he is included in New York Magazine's list of "Best Doctors 2008."
His books include Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World: 101 Smart Solutions for Every Family
and, with Herbert Needleman
Herbert Needleman, MD, known for research studies on the neurodevelopmental damage caused by lead poisoning, is a pediatrician, child psychiatrist, researcher and professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, and the founder of the...
, Raising Children Toxic Free: How to Keep Your Child Safe From Lead, Asbestos, Pesticides and Other Environmental Hazards
. He has published over 500 scientific papers.
He is currently the Director of the Children's Environmental Health Center and the Ethel Wise Professor and Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
Public health advocate
Landrigan's reputation rests largely on his role as a highly credible evidence-based advocate for public health, specifically in his focus on reducing the level of children's exposure to lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...
and pesticides and for his participation in the World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...
's global campaign to eradicate smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...
. He was also a central figure in developing the National Children's Study
The National Children’s Study will examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21...
and in the medical and epidemiological studies that followed the destruction of the World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...
on September 11, 2001. Additionally, from 1995 to 1997, Landrigan served on the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veteran’s Illnesses
Gulf War syndrome or Gulf War illness describes a medical condition that affected veterans and civilians who were near conflicts during or downwind of chemical weapons depot demolition, after the 1991 Gulf War. A wide range of acute and chronic symptoms have included fatigue, musculoskeletal...
, and, in 1997 and 1998, served as Senior Advisor on Children's Health to the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he helped establish the Office of Children's Health Protection.
He has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal of the US Public Health Service and is a frequent consultant to the World Health Organization, which called Landrigan's work "instrumental in passing the Food Quality Protection Act
The Food Quality Protection Act , or H.R.1627, was passed unanimously by Congress in 1996 and was signed into law by former U.S. President Bill Clinton on August 3, 1996...
In 2005, Landrigan, along with Drs. Ramon Murphy and David Muller
David Muller, M.D., is Dean for Medical Education and the Marietta and Charles C. Morchand Chair in Medical Education at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Additionally, Muller is Associate Professor of both Medicine and Medical Education, as well as senior advisor and co-founder...
, founded the Global Health Center, a division of the Mount Sinai Medical Center dedicated to finding evidence-based solutions to global health problems.
In the early 1970s, Landrigan took on ASARCO
ASARCO LLC is a mining, smelting, and refining company based in Tucson, Arizona that mines and processes primarily copper. The company, a subsidiary of Grupo México, is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy...
, a smelting company and one of the largest employers in El Paso
El Paso, a city in the U.S. state of Texas, on the border with Mexico.El Paso may also refer to:-Geography:Colombia:* El Paso, CesarSpain:*El Paso, Santa Cruz de TenerifeUnited States:...
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...
. In testing the blood of children attending schools near ASARCO's El Paso smelting plant, Landrigan concluded that 60% of children living within one mile of the smelter had elevated blood lead levels and that even small amounts of lead exposure lowers a child’s IQ
An intelligence quotient, or IQ, is a score derived from one of several different standardized tests designed to assess intelligence. When modern IQ tests are constructed, the mean score within an age group is set to 100 and the standard deviation to 15...
. In a later study (2002), Landrigan correlated childhood lead exposure and lifetime earning potential, concluding that current levels of lead exposure in the United States amount to an aggregate income loss of over $40 billion dollars a year.
Landrigan and his studies played a key role in the government mandate phasing out lead components from gasoline
Gasoline , or petrol , is a toxic, translucent, petroleum-derived liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain...
, beginning in 1975, and the federal ban on lead paint
Lead paint or lead-based paint is paint containing lead, a heavy metal, that is used as pigment, with lead chromate and lead carbonate being the most common. Lead is also added to paint to speed drying, increase durability, retain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion...
in 1978 – culminating in an 88% drop in lead levels in American children by 2005.
Beginning in 1988, at the request of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy
Patrick Joseph Leahy is the senior United States Senator from Vermont and member of the Democratic Party. He is the first and only elected Democratic United States Senator in Vermont's history. He is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy is the second most senior U.S. Senator,...
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...
, Landrigan led a 5-year study at the National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...
to examine whether the accepted standard for pesticide exposure – aimed to protect a 150-pound adult – was adequate to protect the health of children. In 1993, the Landrigan Committee released a report, Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children
, that was the first to prove that children are uniquely susceptible to adverse effects of pesticides. The report called for standards ten times more stringent than those in effect at publication. Two major pesticides were subsequently banned from the residential market.
On February 11, 2002, Landrigan testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on the impacts of the September 11 attacks on the health of children. Landrigan addressed the issue of asbestos
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their eponymous, asbestiform habit: long, thin fibrous crystals...
particles found in the air:
"Almost no data exist on the possible long-term consequences of low level asbestos in early childhood. Causes of malignant mesothelioma have, however, been reported in the grown children of asbestos workers who were exposed to take-home asbestos; among non-working women in the asbestos mining townships of Quebec who were exposed in the community; and among long term residents of a community near an asbestos-cement plant in Northern Italy."
In October, 2001, New York Magazine noted a disagreement between Landrigan and the EPA over the dangers posed by asbestos particles found in the air immediately after the September 11 attacks. While generally agreeing that significant risk was to the rescue workers alone, Landrigan disagreed with the EPA that tiny asbestos particles were too small to be considered dangerous, saying, "It's been substantiated by 30 or 40 years of research that the smaller fibers are the ones that can penetrate most deeply into the lungs."
Landrigan graduated Boston Latin School
The Boston Latin School is a public exam school founded on April 23, 1635, in Boston, Massachusetts. It is both the first public school and oldest existing school in the United States....
in 1959 and Boston College
Boston College is a private Jesuit research university located in the village of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA. The main campus is bisected by the border between the cities of Boston and Newton. It has 9,200 full-time undergraduates and 4,000 graduate students. Its name reflects its early...
in 1963. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts....
in 1967 and completed his internship at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and his residency at Boston Children's Hospital.
His post-graduate education included the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and his completion, with distinction, of a Master of Science in Occupational Medicine at the University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...
From 1996 to 2005, Landrigan served in the Medical Corps of the United States Naval Reserve, retiring at the rank of Captain. He continues to serve as Deputy Command Surgeon General of the New York Naval Militia
A naval militia in the United States is a reserve military organization administered under the authority of a state government. It is often composed of Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard reservists, retirees and volunteers. They are distinguishable from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, which is a...
. From 2000 to 2002, he served on the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board.
He received Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medals
The Commendation Medal is a mid-level United States military decoration which is presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. For valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy force, but of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Bronze Star, the Valor device may...
in 2002, 2003, and 2005, the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service in 2002, and the National Defense Service Medal
The National Defense Service Medal is a military service medal of the United States military originally commissioned by President Dwight D. Eisenhower...
- Chairman, Department of Community and Preventative Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine is an American medical school in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, currently ranked among the top 20 medical schools in the United States. It was chartered by Mount Sinai Hospital in 1963....
- Professor of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1985-Present.
- Former Director, Division of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine,1985-1990.
- Former Senior Advisor to the Administrator on Children's Health and the Environment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997-1998
- Former Director, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is the United States’ federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within the U.S...
- Former Chief, Environmental Hazards Activity, Bureau of Epidemiology, Centers for Disease Control, 1974-1979.
- Former Director, Research and Development, Bureau of Smallpox Eradication, Centers for Disease Control, 1973-1974
- Former Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer, Centers for Disease Control, 1970-1973.
- Clinical Professor of Environmental Health, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine
The University of Washington School of Public Health ranks among the United States' best schools for public health. US News and World Report ranked the school sixth among all public health schools in its last survey of this discipline ....
, 1983 - Present.
- Visiting Lecturer on Preventive Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts....
, 1982 - Present.
- Visiting Lecturer on Occupational Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 1981 - Present.
- Former Assistant Clinical Professor of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati is a comprehensive public research university in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a part of the University System of Ohio....
, Department of Environmental Health, College of Medicine, 1981 - 1986.
- Past Visiting Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, TUC Institute of Occupational Health, 1976 - 1977.
- Former Clinical Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, 1969 - 1970.
- 2008 Boston College Alumni Award for Professional Excellence
- 2008 Irving J. Selikoff
Dr. Irving J. Selikoff was a medical researcher who in the 1960s established a link between the inhalation of asbestos particles and lung-related ailments. His work is largely responsible for the regulation of asbestos today...
Award, Collegium Ramazzini
- 2008 Healthy Schools Hero Award, Healthy Schools Network, Inc.
- 2008 Edith Macy Award for Distinguished Service, Westchester Children’s Association
- 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award, Children's Health Environmental Coalition
- 2006 Child Health Champion Award, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- 2005 Humanities Award for Children's Health Protection, Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition
- 2005 Rachel Carson
Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement....
National Nutritional Foods Association
- 2005 Super Hero Award for Children's Health, Federated Conservationists of Westchester County
- 2005 Health Achievement in Occupational Medicine Award, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
- 2005 J. Lester Gabrilove Award, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
- 2003 David P. Rall Award for Advocacy in Public Health, American Public Health Association
- 2003 Jorma Rantanen Award, Finnish Institute for Occupational Health
- 2002 Haven Emerson Award, Public Health Association of New York City
- 2002 James Keogh Award, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
- 2002 Jacobi Medallion, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
- 2001 - 2006 Top Doctor. Preventive Medicine. New York Metropolitan Area and United States, Castle Connolly Ltd
- 2000 William Steiger Memorial Award, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
- 1999 Earth Day
Earth Day is a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. The name and concept of Earth Day was allegedly pioneered by John McConnell in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco. The first Proclamation of Earth Day was by San Francisco, the...
New York, Award for Excellence in Environmental Medicine
- 1999 Award for Advocacy on Behalf of the Health of Children, Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet
- 1999 Katherine Boucot Sturgis Award, American College of Preventive Medicine
Founded in 1954, the American College of Preventive Medicine is a U.S.-based physician organization focused on practice, research, publication, and teaching of evidence-based preventive medicine...
- 1998 Vernon Houk Award, International Society for Occupational and Environmental Health
- 1998 Environmental Achievement Award, New Jersey Environmental Federation Certificate of Recognition
- 1996 Broad Street Pump Award in Environmental Health, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Physicians for Social Responsibility is the largest physician-led organization in the USA working to protect the public from the what they consider threats of nuclear proliferation, climate change, and environmental toxins...
- 1995 Occupational Health and Safety Award, International Association of Fire Fighters
The International Association of Fire Fighters is a labor union representing professional firefighters in the United States and Canada. The IAFF was formed in 1918 and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO in the United States and the Canadian Labour Congress in Canada. The IAFF is headquartered in...
- 1995 Herbert L. Needleman Medal and Award for Scientific Contributions and Advocacy on Behalf of Children, American Public Health Association
The American Public Health Association is Washington, D.C.-based professional organization for public health professionals in the United States. Founded in 1872 by Dr. Stephen Smith, APHA has more than 30,000 members worldwide...
- 1995 William Sidell
William Sidell was a carpenter and an American labor leader. He was president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America from 1973 to 1979....
Presidential Award, United Brotherhood of Carpenters
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America is one of the largest building trades union in the United States. One of the unions that formed the American Federation of Labor in 1886, it left the AFL-CIO in 2001.-Early years:...
- 1993 Harriet Hardy Award, New England College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
- 1987 Elected to membership, Institute of Medicine
The Institute of Medicine is a not-for-profit, non-governmental American organization founded in 1970, under the congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences...
, National Academy of Sciences
- 1985 Annual Honoree, New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health
- 1985 Meritorious Service Medal, United States Public Health Service
The Public Health Service Act of 1944 structured the United States Public Health Service as the primary division of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare , which later became the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The PHS comprises all Agency Divisions of Health and...
- 1978 Group Citation as Member of Beryllium Review Panel, United States Public Health Service
- 1976 Career Development Award, United States Public Health Service
- 1973 Volunteer Award, United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
- Landrigan PJ, Selikoff IJ (editors). Occupational Health in the 1990's: Developing a Platform for Disease Prevention. Annals NY Academy of Sciences: 572 1-296, 1989. ISBN 0897665236
- Landrigan PJ. (Chair): Environmental Neurotoxicology. Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council. Washington: National Academy Press, 1992. ISBN 0309045312
- Landrigan PJ (Chair): Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. Committee on Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. Board on Agriculture, and Commission on Life Sciences. National Research Council. Washington: National Academy Press, 1993. ISBN 0309048753
- Landrigan PJ, Needleman HL: Raising Children Toxic Free. How to Keep Your Child Safe From Lead, Asbestos, Pesticides and Other Environmental Hazards. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994. ISBN 0380725770
- Leigh JP, Markowitz S, Fahs M, Landrigan P: Costs of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2000. ISBN 0472110810
- Landrigan PJ, Needleman HL, Landrigan M. Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World: 101 Smart Solutions for Every Family. Emmaus PA: Rodale Press, 2002. # ISBN 087596947X
- Mehlman MA, Bingham E, Landrigan PJ, Soffritti M, Belpoggi F, Melnick RL. Carcinogenesis Bioassays and Protecting Public Health. Commemorating the lifework of Cesare Maltoni and colleagues. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Vol. 982), New York, NY. GYAT/B-M Press, 2002. ISBN 1573314064