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.


  • Implications of Nanotechnology for Environmental Health ... Released: March 25, 2005
    The workshop summary, titled Implications of Nanotechnology for Environmental Health Research, captures the discussions and presentations by the speakers and participants, who identified the areas in which additional research was needed, the processes by which changes could occur, and the gaps in our knowledge.
  • Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2004 : Health and ... Released: March 03, 2005
    Agent Orange and other herbicides were used as defoliants in the Vietnam War. Under a Congressional mandate, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies conducted a comprehensive review of the scientific literature to determine whether Vietnam veterans may be experiencing health effects associated with exposure to those herbicides or chemicals contaminating them. IOM's study has been updated every two years, and Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2004 is the latest report in that series.
  • 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.