Director, Global Public Health Program and Global Pollution Observatory
Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society
I am a pediatrician, public health physician and epidemiologist. My research uses the tools of epidemiology to elucidate connections between toxic chemicals and human health, especially the health of infants and children. I am particularly interested in understanding how toxic chemicals injure the developing brains and nervous systems of children and in translating this knowledge into public policy to protect health.
My early studies of lead poisoning conducted in collaboration with my colleague the late Herbert L. Needleman, MD demonstrated that lead is toxic to children even at very low levels and contributed to the US government's decision to remove lead from paint and gasoline, actions that reduced population mean blood lead levels in the USA by more than 90%. A study I led in the 1990’s at the National Academy of Sciences defined children’s unique susceptibilities to pesticides and other toxic chemicals and catalyzed fundamental revamping of US pesticide policy. In New York City, where I worked for many years in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, I was involved in the medical and epidemiologic follow-up of 20,000 9/11 rescue workers. Our studies of these men and women documented that more than 40% have persistent abnormalities of pulmonary function and that approximately 15% have mental health problems related to their service. From 2015 to 2017, I co-chaired the Lancet Commission on Pollution & Health, which reported that pollution causes 9 million deaths annually and is an existential threat to planetary health. To continue the work of the Lancet Commission on Pollution & Health, I am now directing the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health at Boston College.
Landrigan Philip J, Goldman Lynn R.; OpEd, New York Times A Bad Move That Could End Up Exposing Kids to Chemicals Without explaining why, the E.P.A. has sidelined its top children’s health advocate. October 2018
Landrigan PJ, Fuller R, Fisher S, Chiles TC, Sly P, Suk WA, Bose-O'Reilly S. Pollution and Children's Health. Science of the Total Environment, in press, 2018.
Landrigan PJ, Landrigan MM. Children & Environmental Toxins. What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press 2018.
Landrigan PJ, Fuller R, Acosta NJR, et al. Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. Lancet 2018; 391:462-512.
Landrigan PJ, Fuller R, Hu H, Caravanos J, Cropper ML, Hanrahan D, Sandilya K, Chiles T, Kumar P, Suk WA. Pollution and Global Health - An Agenda for Prevention. Environ Health Perspect 2018.
Fuller R, Rahona E, Fisher S, Caravanos J, Webb D, Kass D, Matte T, Landrigan PJ. Pollution and non-communicable disease: time to end the neglect. Lancet Planetary Health, 2, e96-e98, 2018.
Laborde A. Tomasina F, Bianchi F, Brune M-N, Buka I, Comba P, Corra L, Cori L, Duffert CM, Harari R, Iavarone I, McDiarmid MA, Gray KA, Sly PD, Soares A, Suk WA, Landrigan PJ. Children's Health in Latin America: The Influence of Environmental Exposures. Environ Health Perspect 123:201-209, 2015
Heindel JJ, Balbus J, Birnbaum L, Brune-Drisse MN, Grandjean P, Gray K, Landrigan PJ, Sly PD, Suk W, Cory Slechta D, Thompson C, Hanson M. Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: Integrating Environmental Indluences. Endocrinology, 1-5, 2015.
Grandjean P, Landrigan PJ. Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity. Lancet Neurol 13:330-338, 2014.
Landrigan PJ, Etzel RA (Editors). Textbook of Children's Environmental Health. London: Oxford University Press, November 2013
Wisnivesky JP, Teitelbaum S, Todd A, Boffetta P, Crane M, Crowley L, Dellenbaugh C, Harrison D, Herbert R, Hyun K, Jeon Y, Kaplan J, Katz C, Levin S, Luft B, Markowitz S, Moline J, Osbay F, Pietrzak R, Shapiro M, Sharma V, Skloot G, Southwick S, Stevenson L, Udasin I, Wallenstein S, Landrigan PJ. Persistence of multiple illnesses in World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers: a cohort study. Lancet 378: 888-897, 2011.
Landrigan PJ, Whitworth RH, Baloh RW, Barthel WF, Staehling NW, Rosenblum BF: Neuropsychological dysfunction in children with chronic low-level lead absorption. Lancet 1:708-712, 1975
Landrigan PJ, Gehlbach SH, Rosenblum BF, Shoults JM, Candelaria RM, Barthel WF, Liddle JA, Smrek AL, Staehling NW, Sanders JF: Epidemic lead absorption near an ore smelter: the role of particulate lead. New Engl J Med 292:123-129, 1975