Biographies - Polyvinyl chloride

Henry Falk, MD, MPH
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Dr. Henry Falk served in multiple capacities at CDC, including Assistant Administrator of ATSDR, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health, member of the Executive Leadership Board, and Director of the Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention. He retired from the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps after 30 years of service as Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General, and from the CDC in December, 2010, although he continues there as a part-time consultant to the Deputy Director, ONDIEH/CDC on global aspects of noncommunicable diseases, injury and environmental health. Currently, he is also part-time at Emory Rollins School of Public Health as an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health. At CDC, he helped start the environmental health, injury, disaster epidemiology, lead poisoning prevention, asthma, radiation studies, hazardous waste investigations, and a variety of other programs; he began his career at CDC as an EIS Officer and worked on the initial investigations of vinyl chloride induced hepatic angiosarcoma. He has approximately 150 publications, and is the recipient of several awards, including the CDC Lifetime Science Achievement Award, the Distinguished Service Award of the US Public Health Service and the William C. Watson Medal of Excellence at CDC.

Richard A. Lemen, PhD, MSPH
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Dr. Lemen is a former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General and served in multiple capacities at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, including as Acting Director and Deputy Director. Since retiring in 1996, he has been an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University. In 2009, President Obama appointed him to the Presidential Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health.

From 1966 to 1967, he served as District Sanitarian in Missouri; from 1967 to 1969, he served in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army; and from 1970 to 1996 he served as a commissioned Officer in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS), retiring at the rank of Rear Admiral. He authored the initial manuscript for the International Agency Research on Cancer (IARC) Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks of Chemicals in Man: Asbestos. Drs. Lemen and John Dement authored the 1976 NIOSH Revised Criteria Document for a Recommended Standard on Asbestos, which continues as the basis for the current Occupational Standard on Asbestos. Dr. Lemen currently serves as Co-Science Advisor to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).

During the course of his service with the U.S. Army and USPHS, he received various awards: the Distinguished Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medal. He received the I. W. Abel Award for Recognition of Courage in Public Service from the AFL-CIO; and the Alice Hamilton Science Award for Occupational Safety and Health and the James P. Keogh Award for Outstanding Service in Occupational Safety and Health from NIOSH. In 2017, Dr. Lemen received the Irving J. Selikoff Award from the Collegium Ramazzini.

Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP
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Dr. Philip Landrigan is a pediatrician and epidemiologist. He has served on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai since 1985 and chaired the Department of Preventive Medicine, 1990-2015. Since 2010, he has been Dean for Global Health. He is Editor of the Annals of Global Health.

Dr. Landrigan is a graduate of Boston College, Harvard Medical School, and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He served for 15 years as an EIS officer and epidemiologist at CDC, including extended overseas tours in northern Nigeria in the Global Campaign for Eradication of Smallpox and in El Salvador as advisor to the National Immunization Campaign. For another 9 years, he served as a medical officer in the US Navy and retired as a Captain. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Environmental and occupational health has been the focus of Landrigan’s work. He conducted studies of low-level lead poisoning in children that contributed to EPA’s 1976 decision to remove lead from gasoline — an action that reduced US children’s blood lead levels by over 90%, raised population mean IQ by 5 points, and has been emulated in more than 150 countries. He chaired a National Academy of Sciences Committee on Pesticides and Children that documented children’s extraordinary vulnerability to pesticides and other toxic chemicals and forced revision of US pesticide law to include explicit protections for children’s health. As Chair of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai, he oversaw the federally funded World Trade Center Medical Program that provides diagnostic and treatment services to over 20,000 9/11 first responders. To address the rapidly growing but neglected problem of toxic environmental exposures in low- and middle-income countries, Dr. Landrigan formed and co-chaired the Lancet Commission on Pollution & Health.

Page last reviewed: March 5, 2018
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