Philip J. Landrigan, MD MSc

Ethel H. Wise Professor of Pediatrics, Chair of Community and Preventative Medicine, Director of the Children's Environmental Health Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., M.Sc., is a pediatrician, epidemiologist, and internationally recognized leader in public health and preventive medicine. Dr. Landrigan is known for his many decades of work in protecting children against environmental threats to health, most notably lead and pesticides. His pioneering research on lead toxicity at low levels persuaded the US government to mandate removal of lead from gasoline and paint, actions that have produced a 90% decline in incidence of childhood lead poisoning over the past 25 years. He has been a leader in developing the National Children's Study, the largest study of children's health and the environment ever launched in the United States. He has been centrally involved in the medical and epidemiologic studies that followed the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He has consulted extensively to the World Health Organization, and has published more than 500 scientific papers and five books.

"I’ve seen some terrible cases of lead exposure during pregnancy. In these situations, pregnant moms and their partners decided to sand down old paint on window frames and doors because they wanted to make their homes safe and beautiful for their baby. Tragically, they didn’t realize that the paint they were sanding was lead paint with very high lead content. The sanding produced lead-contaminated dust, and the moms inhaled the dust. In one family, the mom developed a blood lead level of 45 mg/DL, an extremely toxic level. Lead passes easily across the placenta from mother to baby, and her baby was severely brain-damaged. The tragedy is that with proper information, this could have been completely avoided."

From HEALTHY CHILD HEALTHY WORLD. Reprinted by arrangement with Plume, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright (c) 2009 by Healthy Child Healthy World.

To read more from Dr. Landrigan and many others, pick up a copy of our book, Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home, today.

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