American pediatric society's 2017 John Howland award acceptance lecture: A tale of two toxicants: Childhood exposure to lead and tobacco

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This article summarizes the presentation of the 2017 Howland Award to Michael Weitzman, MD, at the Annual Pediatric Academic Society Meetings. It summarizes the remarkable advances in understanding the effects and pathways of exposure of the two most common and pernicious of our nation's child environmental exposures, namely lead and tobacco. It also summarizes the profound effect of the translation of these findings into prudent and effective clinical and public health policies such that exposure to both has dramatically decreased over the past 40 years due to the tenacious activities of pediatricians, other child-related professionals, government agencies at all levels, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Research and clinical activities, although essential, were not sufficient to produce these successes, but required extensive mentoring to produce a generation of academic pediatricians capable of conducting the requisite research, and extensive advocacy by pediatricians and others to overcome the formidable inertia and outright opposition to efforts to protect our children from these exposures. Moreover, the article highlights that both of these environmental exposures have roots in social and environmental injustice and neither is solved, and that there is no safe level of exposure to either of these toxicants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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