About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • A Review of the NIOSH Roadmap for Research on Asbestos ... Released: October 29, 2009
    Prior and ongoing exposures to asbestos continue to contribute to respiratory diseases including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis despite the fact that asbestos is no longer mined in the United States. To examine ongoing issues and concerns in this field, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a draft research roadmap in January 2009. In its 2009 report, A Review of the NIOSH Roadmap for Research on Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongate Mineral Particles, the IOM finds that NIOSH has put together a comprehensive and broad-based research Roadmap that could be improved through implementing a systematic and interdisciplinary approach to the outlined research.
  • Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas. Workshop Summary ... Released: October 21, 2009
    The United States is experiencing an epidemic of childhood obesity. This problem could potentially affect the health of the U.S. population for decades to come, incurring substantial costs to the nation. In particular, Texas is home to three of the five U.S. cities with the highest obesity rates in the nation. The statistics on childhood obesity, demographics, size, and the efforts being made to prevent and reduce obesity in Texas all factored into the Food and Nutrition Board's decision to hold a workshop in Austin, Texas, on February 5-6, 2009. Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas summarizes the workshop.
  • Global Issues in Water, Sanitation, and Health. Workshop ... Released: September 25, 2009
    Worldwide, over one billion people lack access to an adequate water supply. Recognizing water availability, water quality, and sanitation as fundamental issues underlying infectious disease emergence, the IOM’s Forum on Microbial Threats held a two-day public workshop.
  • Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers in the ... Released: September 03, 2009
    During any flu season, health care workers are at the front lines of fighting the disease and protecting public health. In preparation for this year’s fall and winter flu season with novel H1N1 influenza A (nH1N1), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration asked the Institute of Medicine to provide recommendations on necessary respiratory protection for healthcare workers in their workplace against nH1N1. The resulting report, Respiratory Protection for Healthcare Workers in the Workplace Against Novel H1N1 Influenza A, focuses on the scientific and empirical evidence on the efficacy of various types of personal respiratory protection technologies (e.g., medical masks and respirators) as one measure to protect healthcare workers against nH1N1.
  • Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity ... Released: September 01, 2009
    In the United States, 16.3 percent of children and adolescents between the ages of two and 19 are obese. The prevalence of obesity is so high that it may reduce the life expectancy of today’s generation of children and diminish the overall quality of their lives. Local governments can play a crucial role in creating environments that make it easier for children to eat healthy diets and move more. The 2009 report Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity presents a menu of recommended action steps for local government officials to consider in their efforts to prevent childhood obesity in their community.
  • Evaluating Occupational Health and Safety Research ... Released: August 25, 2009
    Each year, approximately 5,000 fatal work-related injuries and 4 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses occur in the United States. This number represents both unnecessary human suffering and high economic costs. In order to assist in better evaluating workplace safety and create safer work environments, the Institute of Medicine conducted a series of evaluations of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) research programs, assessing the relevance and impact of NIOSH’s work on improving worker safety and health.
  • Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008 : Health and ... Released: July 24, 2009
    From 1962 to 1971, US military sprayed herbicides over Vietnam. Because of continuing uncertainty about the long-term health effects of the sprayed herbicides on Vietnam veterans, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991. The legislation directed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to request the Institute of Medicine to perform a comprehensive evaluation of scientific and medical information regarding the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam. Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2008 is the eighth report in this series.
  • Global Environmental Health: Research Gaps and Barriers for ... Released: July 16, 2009
    Humans rely on water, but the rapidly growing human population along with heightened urbanization and poor water management has led to a global water crisis. Increasingly limited water resources and severely limited access to safe drinking water worldwide highlights a global imperative to ensure universal and sustainable access to clean water. The Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine held a workshop on October 17-18, 2007, to stimulate efforts in the urgent issue and reversal of poor water quality, management, and policy.
  • The Public Health Effects of Food Deserts - Workshop ... Released: June 25, 2009
    In the United States, people living in low-income neighborhoods frequently do not have access to affordable healthy food venues, such as supermarkets. Instead, those living in “food deserts” must rely on convenience stores and small neighborhood stores that offer few, if any, healthy food choices, such as fruits and vegetables. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC) convened a two-day workshop on January 26-27, 2009, to provide input into a Congressionally-mandated food deserts study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. The workshop provided a forum in which to discuss the public health effects of food deserts.
  • Environmental Health Sciences Decision Making: Risk ... Released: January 08, 2009
    Eighty-two thousand chemicals—both natural and man-made—are used today. Some of these chemicals do not produce notable adverse health outcomes, but others can be toxic and harmful to anyone exposed. Currently, we know very little about basic properties of the majority of these chemicals and even less about the human health impact of these exposures. On January 15, 2008, the workshop Environmental Health Sciences Decision Making: Risk Management, Evidence, and Ethics addressed emerging issues in risk management, weight of evidence, and ethics that influence environmental health decision making.