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9 December 2016

Asbestos: Still a global menace > recent cover story in Chemical and Engineering News

Fellow Mary Wolff recommends the November 2016 cover story in the journal of the American Chemical Society Asbestos: Still a global menace, Chemical and Engineering News, Volume 94 Issue 47 | pp. 28-31.

11 November 2016

6th International Conference on the History of Occupational and Environmental Health > 29-31 March 2017

The 6th International Conference on the History of Occupational and Environmental Health is being organized by the Scientific Committee on the History of Prevention of Occupational and Environmental Diseases of ICOH (International Commission on Occupational Health) and chaired by Collegium Ramazzini Fellow Kjell Toren.

The scientific program will cover the history of risk assessment, occupational stress, dusty trades and the transition from seeing risks primarily as occupational to viewing them as part of broader environmental concerns. There will also be themes about the evolving history of occupational and environmental health in a global world, as well as work-related disability.

Program and conference updates including abstract submission information will be continuously updated at the webpage of the University of Gothenburg: www.medicine.gu.se/icoh-history.

28 October 2016

Richard Lemen honored with the Irving J. Selikoff Award

The Collegium Ramazzini and the Town of Carpi are proud to recognize Richard Lemen, Ph.D. as the Irving J. Selikoff Award recipient for 2016. Dr. Lemen was presented with this award during the annual Ramazzini Days meeting in Carpi, Italy on 28 October 2016. Collegium Ramazzini President Philip J. Landrigan shared the following highlights from Dr. Lemen's career.

Dr. Richard Lemen has worked for over 50 years as an epidemiologist and leader in occupational and environmental health. He has dedicated his career to promoting the improvement of working conditions for people all over the world, thus embodying and extending the great legacy of Irving Selikoff, co-founder of the Collegium Ramazzini.

Dr. Lemen began his public health career with the United States Army and the Missouri Department of Health. He then joined the United States Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health, the predecessor to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). His early work included some of the initial field investigations and epidemiological studies on asbestos, visiting some of the highest exposure industrial facilities in the United States. His work at NIOSH included many other pioneering epidemiological studies including Bischloromethyl ether (BCME), benzidene dyes, and styrene-butadiene in the rubber industry. During this time, he also began working on his PhD in Epidemiology, earning his degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1991. Meanwhile, he was promoted to another position at NIOSH as head of the division publishing criteria documents and other exposure limit recommendations. He then became Deputy Director of the agency before retiring in 1996.

In 1991, Dr. Lemen received the Distinguished Service Medal from the US Public Health Service and the Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Medal. He authored many scientific publications on asbestos and other occupational exposures and was the US Government's official expert on the health effects of asbestos. He served on many scientific advisory committees and also testified before Congress numerous times.

Rather than opting for a restful retirement, Dr. Lemen has instead become a tireless advocate for the prevention of asbestos-related diseases in the United States and throughout the world. His scientific knowledge has made him a formidable expert in legal proceedings on behalf of the victims of asbestos. He has also continued to lecture on the hazards of asbestos to scientific groups and work with asbestos victim advocacy organizations in the United States and in Europe. He has been a key contributor to the Collegium Ramazzini Statements on asbestos. Dr. Lemen also serves on the United States Presidential Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health.

Richard - Dick to his Collegium colleagues - has continued in the footsteps of the Collegium founders, combining scientific achievement with public service and advocacy. He worked closely with Dr. Selikoff on the original efforts to eliminate asbestos-related diseases and has never given up on that ongoing fight. It is a great privilege for the Collegium Ramazzini to bestow this well-deserved honor upon our friend, colleague and public health hero.

25 September 2016

Death of Emeritus Fellow John C. Bailar III (6 September 2016)

John Christian Bailar III, MD, a resident of Mitchellville, Maryland, died Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at the age of 83.

Born in Urbana, Illinois to John and Florence (Catherwood) Bailar, John was beloved by family and friends for his rigorous mind, pursuit of challenge, and persistent humor. He graduated from University High School in Urbana, University of Colorado with a BA in Chemistry (following in his father?s footsteps), Yale University with an MD, and the American University(where he met his wife, Barbara) with a Ph.D. in statistics.

John began his career as an epidemiologist and biostatistician at the National Cancer Institute in Washington, D.C. While there, he wrote many seminal papers on breast cancer and mammography, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and the comparisons of different cancer treatments. After two years at the Veterans Administration as Director of Research Services, John returned to the Cancer Institute for another eight years, during which time he was Editor for their journal.

After leaving government, John began an academic career, becoming a lecturer at Harvard University, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Statistics at McGill University, and Chair of the Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago. During his time at Harvard and McGill, he was also a statistical consultant to the New England Journal of Medicine. He became a Scholar in Residence at the National Academy of Sciences, where he was a frequent member and chair of committees and reviewer of reports.

John received many honors and awards over the years. Among these was election to the Collegium Ramazzini, election as a Fellow in the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a distinguished service medal from the Council of Biology Editors. His most distinguished award, and one he valued highly, was a MacArthur Fellowship in 1990.

He is survived by his wife of fifty years, Barbara Bailar, his brother Benjamin Bailar, his children Elizabeth, John IV, James (Crystal), and Melissa, his step-daughter Pamela Monaco (Don), numerous nieces and nephews, and eight grandchildren.

A memorial service is to be conducted at 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 9, 2016 in the Chapel of Collington Retirement Community, 10450 Lottsford Road, Mitchellville, Maryland. In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial donations may be given to Yale School of Medicine, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, P.O. Box 7611, New Haven, CT 06519.

For additional information or to leave an online condolence, please visit

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