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Call for Action on Lead

Background: ISEE launches its CALL FOR ACTION ON LEAD, August 2015

THE GLOBAL CONTROL OF LEAD EXPOSURE TO ELIMINATE LEAD POISONING

Lead poisoning is one of the most pervasive, well-established and preventable environmental hazards worldwide. Lead poisoning is pandemic. Yet, there are still many sources of exposure with no serious efforts to limit them and thereby protect the most vulnerable populations, especially children, from the harmfulness of such exposures.

The International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), the major international professional society of environmental epidemiologists, including those who mostly deal with lead poisoning and exposure research, issued a CALL FOR ACTION ON LEAD for the control of global lead exposure and lead poisoning. The ISEE CALL FOR ACTION ON LEAD is the first to be initiated by this professional body on any environmental toxicant, reflecting the concern of the epidemiology community about this exposure and hazard. The process for developing and approving this statement was rigorous, based on facts that took into consideration all perspectives of the experts and leadership of ISEE, from both its Ethics and Philosophy and Policy Committees to its Councilors.

ISEE is a member society of INEP. In March 2015, INEP Executive Committee voted unanimously to recommend endorsement of this ISEE CALL FOR ACTION ON LEAD by INEP Board and to post it on INEP website, encouraging appropriate actions by other organizations and individuals. The Board voted in support of this recommendation on May 20, 2015, pending its publication in EPIDEMIOLOGY which occurred in early August 2015.

All INEP member organizations, public health organizations and relevant and concerned organizations and individuals are encouraged to consider disseminating this CALL FOR ACTION ON LEAD to respective policy-makers, media and their professional society members. The CALL FOR ACTION is a first step to begin the process of addressing wide-spread exposure to lead in the global community.

Posted to the IJPC-SE website on August 14, 2015

NEW ENDORSEMENTS

ORGANIZATIONS wishing to add their endorsement of the ISEE Call for Action on Lead, please send an e-mail to kathleen.ruff@epidemiologyinpolicy.org, asking to be added to the list of endorsing organizations. Please provide: the name of the organization, its address (including city, state or province, and country), a statement to the effect that this endorsement was officially approved with date of approval and the name and email of a contact person.

INDIVIDUALS wishing to endorse the ISEE Call for Action on Lead, please send an e-mail to kathleen.ruff@epidemiologyinpolicy.org, asking to be added to the list of individual endorsers. Please provide your name, qualifications, institutional affiliation, city, state or province, and country.

INEP Direct Contributions:

ISEE Call for Action on Lead - Endorsing Organizations and Individual Endorsers

ISEE Call for Action on Lead - French translation - First page with the specific action items

Asbestos

Background: Despite grave warnings, put forward by a variety of cancer, public health, and regulatory agencies, regarding the health hazards of all types of asbestos, controversy continues to be fomented by powerful moneyed interests. This has permitted some countries to promote continued use of asbestos. The IJPC-SE therefore undertook the development of a Position Statement that, for the first time, puts forward, from an epidemiologic perspective, the clear evidence confirming that all forms of asbestos should be banned.

NEW ENDORSEMENTS

ORGANIZATIONS wishing to add their endorsement of the Position Statement on Asbestos, please send an e-mail to kathleen.ruff@epidemiologyinpolicy.org, asking to be added to the list of endorsing organizations. Please provide: the name of the organization, its address (including city, state or province, and country), a statement to the effect that this endorsement was officially approved with date of approval and the name and email of a contact person.

INDIVIDUALS wishing to endorse the Position Statement on Asbestos, please send an e-mail to kathleen.ruff@epidemiologyinpolicy.org, asking to be added to the list of individual endorsers. Please provide your name, qualifications, institutional affiliation, city, state or province, and country.

INEP Direct Contributions:

Click here to open an updated reference list (as of May 10, 2013) with regard to the Position Statement on Asbestos.

Documentation in Other Languages

Please note: Although every precaution is taken to ensure accuracy in our translations, users are advised that only the original English versions can be deemed authoritative. The reader of the Executive Summary is strongly encouraged to access on our website (see above) the full Position Statement on Asbestos for complete details and our extensive list of references; most of the references are easily accessible by Internet.

In Arabic:
In Chinese:
In Portuguese:
In Russian:
In Spanish:

Related Documents and Information:

Media Coverage:

Media coverage of the IJPC-SE Position Statement on Asbestos has been extensive. Online reports were published (among others) in Canadian newspapers The Gazette, Le Devoir and La Presse. The Huffington Post and The Asian Journal also reported on the issue.

Professor Colin L. Soskolne, Ph.D., was heavily quoted in an interview with Radio Canada International. Report can be accessed here (audio link at the end of the article).

Also of note is an interview that Dr. Soskolne gave to University Affairs. It can be accessed here (a French version is also available here).

Series of investigative journalist reports on corruption of science by vested interests makes reference to IJPC-SE work

The Center for Public Integrity has published a series of articles on the topic of Science for Sale. The articles expose improper industry influence over scientific research. One of the articles in the series, Meet the 'rented white coats' who defend toxic chemicals, refers to the work carried out by the IJPC-SE in adopting its Position Statement on Asbestos.

Vice Media produced a documentary, Why the Deadly Asbestos Industry Is Still Alive and Well, which reports on the Russian Uralasbest asbestos mine, the biggest producer and exporter of chrysotile asbestos in the world. In this documentary, reference is also made to the IJPC-SE Position Statement on Asbestos, noting that societies of epidemiology have taken a clear position opposing the use of any asbestos.

Below are the titles and links to the series of articles and the documentary:

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Regulations Concerning Human Subject Research Participation

Background: The United States’ Department of Human and Health Services (HHS), in July 2011, proposed sweeping changes to regulations that govern research on human subjects, often referred to as the Common Rule. INEP submitted a letter expressing concern about the ramifications of proposed changes on the future conduct of epidemiologic research in the United States.

INEP Direct Contributions:

Related Documents:

Related Documents from Canada:

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HIPAA

Background: Access to data is foundational to the conduct of epidemiologic research. Epidemiologists have traditionally gained access under laws that permit restricted access. Under proposed changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), epidemiologic research requiring access to data would be compromised. INEP has responded to HHS, bringing these concerns to the attention of the Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius.

Peer Review

Background: In the formation of some key government advisory panels, leaders from several epidemiology societies had noticed that no epidemiologists were included. This issue was discussed by INEP, emanating in letters to the Director of NIH.

INEP Direct Contributions:


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Future Ideas

Background: Development of new Position Statements by INEP requires that a member representative on INEP help take leadership (“champion”) of that issue. INEP at its sole discretion may invite outside experts to assist it with the development of such documents, and decide what issues to take up. INEP will follow its standard procedures regarding vetting and approval of any document.

Non-INEP members are invited to bring to the attention of a current INEP representative (confer the list posted on the right at epidemiologyinpolicy.org/?p=about) an issue that they hope can be championed, by writing to chair@epidemiologyinpolicy.org;; if possible, identify a specific person to whom you recommend referring the issue. Ideas for new positions papers or issues that are currently in development include:

  1. The importance for continued funding by the US of the AHRQ. (INEP Champion is Dr. Eduardo Franco.)

INEP Direct Contributions:

More will be added should material become available...