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31 July 2017

Collegium Ramazzini Fellow Marja Sorsa discovers fossil specimen and is awarded prize for lifelong scientific career

Collegium Ramazzini Fellow and 2010 Ramazzini Award Recipient Marja Sorsa, was honored in 2017 with a prize from the NORDENSKIOLD SOCIETY in Finland.

Marja writes that this honor was not for sailing the Northeast Polar Route of the Arctic Ocean, but in recognition of a new paleontological finding of a fossil specimen of an elephant forefather Deinotherium sp., dated some 4-14 million years ago. She adds that in Finland this means a subtropical-tropical climate and two ice ages ago. The prize was also given for Sorsa's brave lifetime of scientific work.

The studies were largely based on the findings inside the bone marrow (algae, diatoms) and bone findings on earlier museum collections, for example in the British Museum of London. The scientific article, co-authored by Salonen, Saarinen, Miettinen, Hirvas, Usoltseva, Fortelius, Sorsa, was published in the US by Elsevier PPP 454 (2016 202-211) and is entitled The northernmost discovery of a Miocene proboscidean bone in Europe.

21 July 2017

Honorary Fellow Kathleen Ruff speaks out on climate change and UN failure to address industry influence

Honorary Collegium Ramazzini Fellow Kathleen Ruff argues that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, while claiming to be evidence-based, continues to deny the evidence of conflict of interest. Read her opinion piece in the BMJ Blog of 21 July 2017.
Ruff is a senior human rights adviser at the Rideau Institute, Ottawa, Canada, and founder and co-coordinator of the Rotterdam Convention Alliance. She is an expert adviser on ethics to the Chair and the Executive Committee of the International Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology.

18 July 2017

Death of Emeritus Fellow Herbert L. Needleman (18 July 2017)

Collegium Ramazzini Emeritus Fellow and 2004 Ramazzini Award Recipient Herbert L. Needleman passed away at the age of 89 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Dr. Needleman was a pediatrician, psychiatrist, and public health hero. Below is an excerpt from the obituary published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He was also remembered in the New York Times on July 27th.

Dr. Needleman leaves a legacy of improved health for children across this country and the world. He was internationally renowned for pioneering scientific research on the effects of lead in children. His research linked low levels of lead exposure to lowered I.Q., poor school performance, and behavioral problems, including juvenile delinquency. Dr. Needleman's work played a critical role in the United States government's decision to remove lead from gasoline, a move that is credited with drastically reducing blood lead levels of American children. Dr. Needleman received numerous awards for his work, including the Heinz Award for the Environment, the Charles A. Dana Award, the Prince Mahidol Award of Thailand, the Ramazzini award of Carpi, Italy, and the University of Pittsburgh's Chancellor's Award for Community Service. Born into an immigrant family of Philadelphia pickle makers, Dr. Needleman was the first in his family to attend college. He went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Needleman completed residencies in both pediatrics and psychiatry. He served as a Captain in the United States Army. Known to many as a formidable advocate for the disadvantaged, Dr. Needleman had a strong sense of social justice and a big, caring heart. It was these characteristics that led him to abandon private medical practice and devote his life to protecting children from harm. In 1966, he founded and led the Committee of Responsibility to Save War-Burned and War-Injured Vietnamese Children (known as COR), an organization of American doctors, scientists, clergy, and other concerned citizens who brought injured Vietnamese children to the United States for medical care. In 1967, Dr. Needleman and fellow pediatrician Benjamin Spock were jailed during an anti-war protest at the Pentagon. Around this time, Dr. Needleman began his study of the effects of low levels of lead in children, ultimately publishing more than 80 peer-reviewed scientific papers and a parenting book on the topic. During his career, Dr. Needleman held academic positions in the medical schools of Temple University, Harvard University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Needleman was sharply criticized by the lead industry, whose business was damaged by the government's increased regulation of lead and efforts to clean up lead-polluted areas and houses. Attempts to discredit Dr. Needleman culminated in allegations of scientific misconduct in 1991. After extensive investigation and a lengthy hearing, no misconduct was found. Dr. Needleman's research has been replicated numerous times and is the foundation for later studies showing harmful effects at even lower levels of exposure. Dr. Needleman is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Roberta; his three children, Samuel, Joshua (Yael), and Sara Kline (Stephan); seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

30 May 2017

Collegium Ramazzini endorses Aircraft Cabin Air Conference, to be held in London 19-20 September 2017

The Aircraft Cabin Air Conference, the first global meeting on aircraft cabin air quality in more than a decade, is set to take place in London this September. Despite air accident investigators recommending detection systems be fitted to public transport aircraft over a decade ago, the technology has not been available and planes continue to fly with no warning systems to alert pilots and crew when the air supply to the cockpit and passenger cabin is contaminated.

The conference, running 19-20 September 2017 at Imperial College London, UK, will bring together the latest research, the field's most well respected experts and those solving this industry-wide problem to talk about solutions to the issue.

Thirty speakers from three continents, including Fellows of the Collegium Ramazzini, will present over eight sessions. Conference supporters include Pall Aerospace, the British pilot union the PPU, Air Canada Pilot Association (ACPA), Australian Federation of Air Pilots(AFAP), Australian International Pilots Association (AIPA), Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) - the largest flight attendant union in the world and Stirling University.

The conference is endorsed by: Collegium Ramazzini, International Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology IJPC-SE, and the European Sealing Association.

Questions? Comments! Mail to: events@ramazzini.it