Dr. Mary Guinan, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Mary Guinan has worked in disease control and prevention for three decades. She is currently on the board of directors of the Nevada Public Health Foundation. Until recently, she served as Nevada's state health officer, where she worked to fluoridate Nevada's water supply and addressed the state's large smoking problem. Prior to this, Dr. Guinan worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she examined disease from a population perspective rather than the individual perspective. At the CDC she was involved with their original AIDS Task Force, investigating the first cases of AIDS for the CDC. She is often credited with being the first to identify AIDS as an epidemic. Dr. Guinan began working at the CDC in 1974, when she took part in the historic effort to eliminate smallpox in Uttar Pradesh, India. She continued there for 22 years as a physician, scientist and administrator. Dr. Guinan holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas and an M.D. from Johns Hopkins.
Richard Joseph Jackson, M.D., MPH
With an extensive background in pediatrics, Dr. Richard Jackson has worked to increase support for stronger environmental health protection efforts. Currently he is the director of the National Center for Environmental Health, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also serves on the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Environmental Health Policy Committee and is the HHS senior staff representative to the President's Task Force on the Protection of Children from Environmental Health and Safety Risks. Dr. Jackson authored many of the critical findings published in the National Academy of Sciences' report titled "Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children," which formed the basis of the nation's 1996 Food Quality Protection Act. Earlier in his career, he served as division director for both the Division of Infectious Disease Control and the Division of Environmental Hazard Assessment at the California Department of Health Services. He was instrumental in establishing the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, in helping to secure passage of the Birth Defects Prevention Act, and in establishing requirements for full reporting of pesticide use in the state. Dr. Jackson received his M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco and his M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of California at Berkeley.
Phil Landrigan, M.D., M.Sc., D.I.H.
Dr. Phil Landrigan is a renowned expert on environmental health and pediatrics who has worked to translate science into public policy and introduce children's environmental health into mainstream medical education. He currently serves as professor of pediatrics and preventative medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, is chairman of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, and directs the Mt. Sinai Center for Children's Health and the Environment. Dr. Landrigan has published more than 100 original peer-reviewed articles for scientific and medical journals, and written extensively on environmental health. Along with Dr. Herbert Needleman and Mary Landrigan, M.P.A., he is the author of the recent, Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World: 101 Smart Solutions for Every Family. From 1988 until 1993, Dr. Landrigan chaired the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children at the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council. Their report provided the impetus for provisions of the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 that require the EPA to consider the special vulnerabilities of young children in setting standards for pesticide exposure. Dr. Landrigan was appointed to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War veterans' illnesses and served as senior advisor to the EPA, where he was responsible for establishing the Office of Children's Health Protection. Earlier in his career, Dr. Landrigan served as a commissioned officer in the United States Public Health Service, and as an epidemic intelligence service officer and then as a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Landrigan was instrumental in establishing the division of the CDC that is today known as the National Center for Environmental Health. Dr. Landrigan holds a medical degree from the Harvard Medical School, and a Master of Science in occupational medicine and a Diploma of Industrial Health from the University of London.
Herbert Needleman, M.D.
Dr. Herbert Needleman is a distinguished researcher who, after having determined the developmental implications of excessive exposure to lead, played a key role in the five-fold reduction in the prevalence of lead poisoning in American children. In 1979 he mounted the first large-scale study of intelligence and behavior in children with no outward signs of lead poisoning. He followed these children into adulthood, showing that lead exposure is associated with increased risk for failure to graduate from high school and for reading disabilities. His work was instrumental in the decisions made by the Environmental Protection Agency to mandate the removal of lead from gasoline and by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban lead from interior paints. Additionally, Dr. Needleman's studies prompted the Department of Housing and Urban Development to remove lead from thousands of housing units across the country. He founded the Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, an education and advocacy organization with which he continues to work to reduce the hazards of lead-based paint in many inner city homes. For his extraordinary contributions to the understanding and prevention of childhood lead poisoning, Dr. Needleman received the Heinz Award in the Environment in 1995. Currently a professor of pediatrics and child psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Dr. Needleman has been a consultant to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Office of Housing and Urban Development, and to state and local governments, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania lead program. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences, and co-authored Raising Children Toxic Free with Dr. Phil Landrigan and Mary Landrigan, M.P.A. Dr. Needleman earned his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and trained in psychiatry at Temple University Health Sciences Center.
Frederica Perera, Dr.PH
Dr. Frederica Perera pioneered the field of molecular epidemiology, a relatively new discipline which merges highly sophisticated laboratory techniques with epidemiologic methods in order to use biomarkers in human tissue as indicators of potential risk of cancer and other diseases -- hence as a tool in disease prevention. She is also a professor in the Environmental Health Sciences Division at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Under the direction of Dr. Perera, the program in Molecular Epidemiology has made substantial progress in validating biomarkers in populations with well-defined exposures and/or with those with a defined risk of cancer. She is internationally recognized for her research on environmental causes of cancer on the effects of ambient air pollution and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) on health outcomes in children and the developing fetus. Dr. Perera is the director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health and the Principal Investigator of the Center's study of the health effects of environmental pollutants on pregnant mothers and children. Dr. Perera holds a Dr.PH from the Columbia School of Public Health.
Linda Sheldon, Ph.D
Dr. Linda Sheldon is currently the Acting Director for the Human Exposure and Atmospheric Science Division of the Environmental Protection Agency. While at the EPA, Dr. Sheldon has developed research programs to evaluate exposure to particulate matter and air toxics. She has also developed a research program that is trying to identify the major pathways associated with children's exposure to pesticides and other chemical contaminants. Before joining the EPA, Dr. Sheldon was a Principle Scientist in Analytical and Chemical Sciences at the Research Triangle Institute in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Dr. Sheldon is recognized internationally for her contributions to indoor air and exposure monitoring research. She has spent much of her career developing and applying methods for the analysis of trace levels of organic and inorganic pollutants. She has conducted several large studies evaluating toxic exposures in homes and schools and additional studies that evaluate infants' and children's exposure to pesticides and lead; commuter's exposure to air pollution; farm workers' exposures to pesticides and pollutants in foods. Dr. Sheldon earned her Master of Science at the University of California, Davis and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Peggy M. Shepard
Peggy Shepard is heralded for her work in improving environmental protection and health in communities of color. Ms. Shepard is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT), a non-profit organization that focuses on environmental and social justice issues. She is also a Co-Director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health Community Outreach & Education Project. In January 2002, Ms. Shepard was elected the first female chair of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) to the Environmental Protection Agency, and she is currently co-chair of the Northeast Environmental Justice Network, and a vice chair of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ms. Shepard has received numerous honors and awards for her environmental work. She is a board member of many national and local organizations including the NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan at the Columbia University School of Public Health; Mt. Sinai's Children's Environmental Health Center and League of Conservation Voters.
Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D.
Ecologist, author, and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on the environmental links to cancer and reproductive health. Sandra Steingraber is currently on faculty at Cornell University's Center for the Environment. She has authored several books, including the internationally acclaimed, Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment, Post Diagnosis and co-author of The Spoils of Famine. Steingraber's latest work, Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood, explores the intimate ecology of motherhood and reveals the extent to which environmental hazards now threaten each crucial stage of infant development. Having Faith was selected as one of The Library Journal's best books of 2001. The Sierra Club heralded Steingraber as "the new Rachel Carson" and in 2001, Carson's alma mater, Chatham College, selected Steingraber to receive its biennial Rachel Carson Leadership Award. In 1999, as part of international treaty negotiations, she briefed U.N. delegates in Geneva, Switzerland on dioxin contamination of breast milk. She has served on President Clinton's National Action Plan on Breast Cancer. Steingraber received her Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan and master's degree in English from Illinois State University.
Read the transcript of Kids and Chemicals.