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July 24th 2012

National and International Epidemiology Organisations Launch Call for a Global Ban on Asbestos

In a Statement released on 24 July 2012, national and international organisations that study the causes and prevention of disease epidemics, call, for the first time, for a global ban on the mining, use, and export of all forms of asbestos. The Statement has already been endorsed by over 150 public health, civil society organizations and individual scientists from twenty countries, including the Collegium Ramazzini.

"Continued use of asbestos will lead to a public health disaster of asbestos-related illness and premature death for decades to come, repeating the epidemic we are witnessing today in industrialised countries that used asbestos in the past," stated Dr. Stanley Weiss, chair of the Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology (JPC-SE), which released the Statement. The JPC-SE comprises a number of Canadian, U.S. and international epidemiology organisations [full text continues below].

We call specifically on the major asbestos exporting countries - Brazil, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Russia - to respect the right to health by ceasing the mining, use, and export of asbestos, and providing transition assistance to their asbestos-mining communities," said Dr. Robert Hiatt, representing the American College of Epidemiology.

"The asbestos industry continues today to undermine public health policy by denying the overwhelming scientific evidence and promoting asbestos use in developing countries," said Professor Colin Soskolne, PhD, past-president of the Canadian Society of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. "According to the WHO, over a hundred thousand people around the world die unnecessary and painful deaths every year as a result."

"With irrefutable scientific evidence of harm to human health resulting from exposure to all forms of asbestos, we considered it to be of critical importance to take a clear position in support of the objective scientific evidence that all use of asbestos should stop," said Dr. Weiss. The 25-page Statement, which details the latest scientific research, expresses "grave concern that the governments of Brazil, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam are recklessly putting their own and other citizens in peril by allowing asbestos mining and trading to take place."

The Statement urges countries to inform their citizens of the hazards of asbestos and to establish an inventory of asbestos already in place, particularly in schools where children are at risk of exposure.

The Statement notes that the asbestos industry has used tactics of intimidation to try to silence scientists. It urges public health organisations to support the right of scientists and academics to carry out their work in the public interest free from intimidation.

CONTACTS:
Dr. Stanley H. Weiss, MD: 1 973-972-7716; JPCSE.Chair@gmail.com
Professor Colin L. Soskolne, PhD: 1 780-492-6013; colin.soskolne@ualberta.ca
Dr. Robert A. Hiatt, MD, PhD: 1 415-514-8113; rhiatt@cc.ucsf.edu
Kathleen Ruff: 1 250-847-1848; kruff@bulkley.net|
91|2012-7-5|Online registration for Ramazzini Days 2012 opens July 16th|Online registration for the 2012 edition of the Annual Ramazzini Days will open on Monday, July 16th. The schedule of events may be viewed at http://www.collegiumramazzini.org/ramazzinidays2012.asp.
Abstracts for the Saturday Work of the Fellows sessions and the Sunday session on "Precaution in science and the science-policy interface" should be sent to the Priority Topics Committee, c/o Chairwoman Dr. Melissa McDiarmid at Mmcdiarm@medicine.umaryland.edu by 15 September. Missed last year's meeting? View or download Ramazzini Days 2011 presentations and abstracts.

Direct questions to conference co-manager Federica Scagliarini events@ramazzini.it. ||
90|2012-5-22|Online registration open for one-day conference on Benzene > June 28th @ Mt. Sinai School of Medicine|On June 28, 2012 the Collegium Ramazzini and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine will host a one-day conference on "Benzene, childhood leukemias and hematopoietic lymphoreticular cancers" in honor of Collegium co-founder Irving J. Selikoff. The event will be held in the Goldwurm Auditorium at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Fellows and guests are invited to register online for the event. Consult the
scientific program here. Questions may be directed to Ms. Alvara McBean, Department of Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine alvara.mcbean@mssm.edu +1 212-824-7046. ||
89|2012-5-15|CR President Phil Landrigan to speak at the University of Brescia on 21 May 2012|Collegium Ramazzini President Philip Landrigan will deliver a seminar to the School of Occupational Medicine at the University of Brescia, Italy on May 21, 2012 from 14:30 to 17:30. The lecture is entitled "The World Trade Center workers cohort: 10 years of epidemiological surveillance". Interested guests are invited to contact Fellow Roberto Lucchini lucchini@med.unibs.it.||
88|2012-4-23|Dr. Amalia Laborde shares outcomes of Montevideo conference|Dear colleagues,

It was a great pleasure to have you all here in Montevideo for the International Conference "Environmental Health in Political Agenda". On behalf of the organizers, I send you thanks for the messages and notes of appreciation. We also want to acknowledge your kindness and professionalism that facilitated all the organizational issues. The meeting, and particularly the high level of your scientific contributions, will be a milestone in the Environmental Health knowledge and actions in South America.

Everything was definitely merit of the Collegium Ramazzini, NIEHS and OPS-OMS colleagues for their scientific contribution, financial support and convening power. We had 190 participants from Uruguay, and 40 from abroad, Argentina, Brazil, Chile ,Ecuador, Italy, Paraguay and the USA . Classical and emerging issues in environmental health were addressed in seven lectures and 32 presentations. There was a poster session with 34 regional investigations. Six manuscripts were submitted for the Jenny Pronczuk Award. The winning team was from the Universidad del Comahue, Neuquen, Argentina: M.G.Rovedatti, N. Guinazu, V Bulgaroni, G.l Alvarez, A.Cecchi , G. Chiapella, B. Vera, M Quintana, V.Guillermo Sabino, N. Quidel , S. Anderle, M.C Bertone, S.Vazquez and G.Magnarelli for their paper on "Health impact of environmental pesticides exposure of the triad Mother-Placent- Fetus and preventive actions."

The training course on Environment , Reproductive and Fetal Health had 90 participants. WHO publications on Children Environmental Health and copies of the Training Modules were distributed to the health professionals. The parallel session sponsored by PAHO-WHO about Pediatric Environmental History has promoted interest and initiatives to advance in a short questionnaire for the primary care sector.

Many exchanges of documents, books, research, educational and health practice interactions were strengthened or created thanks to this meeting. We believe that it was a great step toward more and better networking for the near future.

With warm greetings to all,

Prof Dra Amalia Laborde
Departamento de Toxicologia
Centro de Informacion y Asesoramiento Toxicologico (CIAT)
Unidad Pediatrica Ambiental
Unidad de Toxicologia Laboral y Ambiental
Facultad de Medicina
Universidad de la Republica||
87|2012-3-19|Countdown to Montevideo - Final Scientific Program|Safe travels and best of luck to colleagues travelling to Montevideo, Uruguay on March 22-24, 2012 for the long-awaited conference "Salud Ambiental en la Agenda Politica". The event is jointly organized by the Collegium Ramazzini and the Universidad Republica Oriental de Uruguay in honor of Dr. Jenny Pronczuk De Garbino (1947-2010), Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini and champion for children's environmental health. The final scientific program may be downloaded here. A special thanks to Fellows Amalia Laborde and Lilian Corra for their extraordinary efforts in organizing this landmark event.||
86|2012-3-8|This man knows all about cancer, Hazards magazine, number 117, 2012|Fellow Andrew Watterson would like to share the following article with Collegium colleagues:
This man knows all about cancer, Hazards magazine, number 117, 2012. The piece focuses on the story of Simon Pickvance, a workplace health expert who has proof the UK is ignoring an occupational cancer epidemic. Pickvance has first-hand experience of what this official inaction can mean; in 2010, he was diagnosed with the most feared work cancer around. The article is the featured cover story, see cover image.||
85|2012-2-17|ADAO Memorial Video Dedication to Dr. Stephen Levin|The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) has created a memorial video tribute to remember Collegium Ramazzini Fellow Steve Levin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMu-lNHNt-o&sns=em.
Fellows Richard Lemen and Arthur Frank are Co-Science Advisors at ADAO, a special thanks to them for sharing this video with the Collegium Ramazzini. ||
84|2012-2-8|Death of Collegium Ramazzini Fellow Dr. Stephen Levin, February 7, 2012|Dear Fellows and Emeritus Fellows of the Collegium Ramazzini,

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the death of our dear colleague Stephen Levin, MD, Professor of Occupational Medicine in the Department of Preventive Medicine of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and for many years Medical Director of the Mount Sinai Irving J. Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Dr. Levin was a 1967 graduate of the New York University School of Medicine. After a decade of practice in General Medicine in Pennsylvania, he came to Mount Sinai to receive his training in Occupational Medicine. Following completion of his training, he joined the Mount Sinai faculty. He spent the remainder of his career at Mount Sinai, rose through the academic ranks and was promoted to full Professor in 2011.

Dr. Levin became Medical Director of the Mount Sinai Selikoff Center in 1987 . He was active in the Occupational Medicine teaching program for medical students and residents. His research interests focused on asbestos-related disease, other occupational lung diseases and heavy metal toxicity.
Dr. Levin served as a consultant to the New York State, New Jersey, and New York City Departments of Health on the health hazards of environmental pollutants.

In response to the events of September 11, 2001, Dr. Levin devoted his expertise for over a decade to the evaluation and treatment of patients who developed respiratory and psychological illnesses as a consequence of their exposures and experiences at or near the site of the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster. He was Co-Director of the WTC Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provided medical assessments, diagnostic referrals and occupational health education for over 20,000 workers and volunteers who performed rescue and recovery work at the WTC site. He served as Principal Investigator and Director of the Data and Coordination Center for the federally funded WTC Medical Monitoring Program that provides repeat examinations for the WTC responder cohort.

Dr. Levin was an active member of the Collegium Ramazzini since 1990 and was honored with the Collegium's Irving J. Selikoff Memorial Award on December 2 , 2009 in New York, one of only five recipients of the award since its inception in 1993.

Philip J. Landrigan
President, Collegium Ramazzini||
83|2012-1-14|Save the Date > June 28, 2012, Benzene Conference New York|On June 28, 2012 the Collegium Ramazzini and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine will host a one-day conference on "BENZENE, CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIAS AND HEMATOPOIETIC LYMPHORETICULAR CANCERS" in honor of Collegium co-founder Irving J. Selikoff. The event will be held in the Goldwurm Auditorium at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Download scientific program. |Symposium Chairman:
Myron A. Mehlman

Scientific Committee:
Myron A. Mehlman,
Eula Bingham,
Philip Landrigan,
Peter Infante,
Nachman Brautbar,
Morando Soffritti,
Melissa McDiarmid
Steven Markowtiz

Registration information:
Ms. Alvara McBean
Executive Assistant to Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc
Chairman, Dept. of Preventive Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
One Gustav L. Levy Place, Box 1057
New York, NY 10029-6574
Tel: 212-824-7018;
Fax: 212-996-0407
Email: alvara.mcbean@mssm.edu
Registration fee: $80.00 US
Collegium Fellows: No charge
Students: No charge

For special hotel rates near Mt. Sinai, contact Ms. Bean.

Requests to submit Poster Presentations should double spaced on one page and sent to:
Myron Mehlman
7 Bouvant Dr.
Princeton NJ 08540-1208

Phone: 609-683-1493
FAX: 609-683-0838
email: mehlman@comcast.net|
82|2011-12-10|New website for Montevideo conference > 22-24 March 2012|Visit the new website of the upcoming meeting on "Environment and health in political agenda" to be held Montevideo, Uruguay from March 22-24, 2012: www.ciat.hc.edu.uy/. The conference is jointly organized by the Collegium Ramazzini and the Universidad Republica Oriental de Uruguay in honor of Dr. Jenny Pronczuk De Garbino (1947-2010), Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini, who dedicated her professional life to the prevention of child diseases in the world. A preparatory symposium is also planned in Buenos Aires on March 20th.|Major themes of the conference will include:
1) embryonic and fetal exposure to environmental pollutants;
2) universal issues in environmental contamination (water contaminants, pesticides, atmospheric pollutants in metropolitan areas, environmental persistent pharmaceutical pollutants);
3) "Hot issues" in occupational and environmental health today (nuclear plants, volatile chemicals, fibres, non-ionizing EMF, drug exposure of workers in clinical oncology);
4) health impact of nanomaterials (in pesticides, household products, drugs, food, etc).

The event will conclude with a roundtable on current policy governing each of these areas; a statement of recommendations will be proposed. |
81|2011-12-1|Save the Dates Ramazzini Days 2012 |The 2012 edition of the Annual Ramazzini Days will be held in Carpi, Italy on October 27th and 28th. Fellows should plan to arrive at the Bologna International Airport or Modena/Carpi train stations on Friday 26 October. Departures should be scheduled on Sunday afternoon October 28th or Monday October 29th. Online registration will open in July 2012. Questions may be directed to Conference Manager Federica Scagliarini events@ramazzini.it. View Ramazzini Days 2011 presentations. Program and abstracts also available for download. ||
80|2011-10-24|CR Statement on the Safety and Health of Migrant Labour|The Collegium Ramazzini has just released its 16th statement: "The Safety and Health of Migrant Labour: A Call to the International Community for Action". The abstract of this statement is published below, the full text may be downloaded here.

As part of its core mission to disseminate information to concerned stakeholders, the Collegium regularly releases "Collegium Ramazzini Statements" on topics of particular interest. These statements are used as reference points for governments and international agencies as well as by physicians in occupational medicine. Statements reflect the official orientation of the Collegium on topics of major interest. They are adopted in full independence and are exclusively based on scientific knowledge and ethical principles.|Abstract
While workers have traveled from their place of residence in search of employment throughout history, labour migration has increased dramatically in the last two decades with recent liberalization of global trade. Today, one-third of the world's population depend on remittances from migrant workers for a significant part of their livelihood. A growing part of this migration is within countries, from rural areas to the burgeoning industrial centers. While the international finance institutions have heralded the benefits of migrancy, much less attention has been given to the health needs that are created by migrancy.
The health and safety needs that arise from migrancy affect workers, workers' families and workers' communities. They come in the form of abuse, malnutrition, transmission of infectious diseases and mental disorders. Female migrant workers and the children of migrant workers are especially vulnerable to health effects. Although poorly quantified, these health effects are a major cause of world-wide morbidity and mortality.
The Collegium Ramazzini calls upon the international community to give special attention to this issue, by urging employers, governments and international organizations to provide migrant workers and their families the safety and health protections that to which they are entitled. Specifically, we urge the WHO and ILO to launch an international movement focused on reducing the health needs that arise from reliance on migrant labour. We also urge the United Nations to adopt a Convention on the Safety and Health of Migrant Labour, in which member nations commit to establishing both domestic and international protections against the abuse of migrant workers and their families.|
79|2011-9-28|Save the Date: CR conference in Montevideo, Uruguay 22-24 March 2012|Dates have been set for the Collegium Ramazzini meeting in South America on "Environment and health in political agenda" to be held Montevideo, Uruguay from March 22-24, 2012. A preparatory symposium is also planned in Buenos Aires on March 20th. These events will be held in the name of Dr. Jenny Pronczuk De Garbino (1947-2010), Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini, who dedicated her professional life to the prevention of child diseases in the world. The conference is made possible thanks to a collaboration with the Universidad Republica Oriental de Uruguay; Fellows Amalia Laborde (Uruguay) and Lillian Corra (Argentina) have taken a leading role in the organization and promotion of the event. |Major themes of the conference will include:
1) embryonic and fetal exposure to environmental pollutants;
2) universal issues in environmental contamination (water contaminants, pesticides, atmospheric pollutants in metropolitan areas, environmental persistent pharmaceutical pollutants);
3) "Hot issues" in occupational and environmental health today (nuclear plants, volatile chemicals, fibres, non-ionizing EMF, drug exposure of workers in clinical oncology);
4) health impact of nanomaterials (in pesticides, household products, drugs, food, etc).

The event will conclude with a roundtable on current policy governing each of these areas; a statement of recommendations will be proposed.
Additional information to follow, Fellows are asked to mark their calendars now for this important occasion.
|
78|2011-9-21|CR 2011 Elections - deadline to return ballot 10 October |Ballots for the 2011 election were e-mailed to Fellows on Wednesday 21 September 2011. Ballots must be returned by 10 October (postmarked) in order to be considered valid. Questions or requests to have a ballot resent may be directed to collegium@ramazzini.it.||
77|2011-8-11|Death of Professor Yasunosuke Suzuki August 8, 2011|It is with great sadness that the Collegium Ramazzini informs its Fellows of the death of one of its most illustrious and beloved colleagues, Professor Yasunosuke Suzuki. Professor Suzuki was an influential member of the Collegium and was honored with the Ramazzini Award in 1993 for his contribution to the scientific knowledge on the pathology of mesotheliomas among asbestos-exposed workers. Upon his retirement from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2006, the Collegium Ramazzini again honored Professor Suzuki with the Irving J. Selikoff Award to recognize his many years of work as a pathologist who meticulously studied the diseases caused by asbestos and who also ventured forth courageously from his laboratory, as a true follower of Ramazzini and Selikoff, to press the urgent need in nations around the world for the banning of all production and use of all forms of asbestos. In fact, Dr Suzuki played a critical role in the decision by the Government of Japan to ban all use of asbestos in Japan.
Collegium Ramazzini President Philip Landrigan remembers the occasion of the Selikoff award noting "(It) was a bittersweet occasion. Dr. Suzuki served as a member of the faculty of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai for 40 years. While there are many of us still at Mount Sinai who worked with Dr. Selikoff as junior faculty, students and trainees, Dr. Suzuki is the last member of the "Selikoff generation" the group of age peers who worked most closely with Dr. Selikoff for so many years in Dr. Selikoff's pioneering studies of other asbestos and other occupational hazards.

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