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.


  • Rebuilding the Unity of Health and the Environment: The ... Released: February 03, 2005
    At a workshop sponsored by the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine in January 2004, titled Rebuilding the Unity of Health and the Environment: The Greater Houston Metropolitan Area, representatives from a variety of fields worked together to address issues of health and environment specific to the area. This workshop, one in a series of regional workshops sponsored by the Roundtable, was initiated based on the view that for a long time the world of environment, environmental regulation, environmental control, and engineering had moved in one direction, while the world of health had moved in another.
  • Public Health Risks of Disasters: Communication ... Released: January 24, 2005
    The Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine and the National Research Council's Disasters Roundtable were formed to provide a neutral setting for individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives to discuss sensitive issues of mutual interest. These two Roundtables jointly sponsored a workshop, summarized in this report, that considered issues related to health risks of disasters.
  • Does the Built Environment Influence Physical Activity? ... Released: January 11, 2005
    Research increasingly shows a link between physical activity and the "built" environment -- buildings, roads, parks, and other structures that physically define a community -- but more research is needed to assess whether the built environment affects people's actual levels of physical activity
  • From Source Water to Drinking Water. Workshop Summary ... Released: October 29, 2004
    The workshop From Source Water to Drinking Water: Emerging Challenges for Public Health, discusses whether the approaches that government has traditionally used are feasible as the United States faces a growing population and increased consumption per capita.
  • Environmental Health Indicators: Bridging the Chasm of Public ... Released: October 29, 2004
    There have been a number of calls for a national environmental health monitoring system that would expand current human exposure monitoring and health surveillance efforts complemented by the development and validation of a variety of potential indicators for environmental health status. Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine convened a workshop on Environmental Health Indicators: Bridging the Chasm of Public Health and the Environment as an opportunity to discuss current efforts by industry, private, global, and U.S. federal and state governments.
  • Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance : Health ... Released: September 29, 2004
    In response to a request from Congress for a prevention-oriented action plan to tackle the alarming rise in childhood obesity, the IOM Committee on Prevention of Obesity in Children and Youth has developed a comprehensive national strategy that recommends specific actions for families, schools, industry, communities, and government. The committee's findings and recommendations are described in the report Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance.
  • Gulf War and Health: Updated Literature Review of Sarin ... Released: August 20, 2004
    The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has been conducting a series of congressionally-mandated studies to examine the scientific and medical literature on the potential health effects of chemical and biological agents. In response to veterans' ongoing concerns and recent publications in the literature, IOM updated its 2000 reporton sarin exposure. In the report, Gulf War and Health: Updated Literature Review of Sarin, the committee concluded that there is still not enough evidence to determine whether exposure to low doses of sarin are associated with long-term health problems.
  • Damp Indoor Spaces and Health : Health and Medicine ... Released: May 25, 2004
    Almost all homes, apartments and commercial buildings will experience leaks, flooding or other forms of excessive indoor dampness at some point. Excessive dampness is not only a problem by itself but also a contributor to several potentially problematic exposures. Molds and other microbial agents favor damp indoor environments, and excess moisture may initiate chemical emissions from damaged building materials and furnishings. This book by the Institute of Medicine examines the health impact of exposures resulting from damp indoor environments and offers recommendations for public health interventions.
  • Veterans and Agent Orange: Length of Presumptive Period for ... Released: March 01, 2004
    In 1991, because of continuing uncertainty about the long-term health effects on Vietnam veterans who where exposed to herbicides during their service in Vietnam (mixtures of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), picloram, and cacodylic acid), Congress passed legislation that directed the secretary of veterans affairs to ask the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to perform a comprehensive evaluation of scientific and medical information regarding the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange, other herbicides used in Vietnam, and the various chemical components of those herbicides, including TCDD.
  • Ensuring Environmental Health in Postindustrial Cities. ... Released: November 12, 2003
    Individuals and communities today face many health problems that can be associated with our environment, including waste, unhealthy buildings, suburban sprawl, air pollution, water pollution, and environmentally related stress. At the workshop Rebuilding the Unity of Health and the Environment: A New Vision for the 21st Century, participants explored the need for a broader perspective of environmental health, one that incorporates the natural, the built, and the social environments. This workshop discussed many of the challenges that members of the environmental health community are facing and stressed the need for engaging nontraditional partnerships in addressing these issues.