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.


  • 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.
  • The Role of Environmental Hazards in Premature Birth. ... Released: November 05, 2003
    Each year in the U.S., more than 440,000 babies are born too soon (preterm). Compared with a full-term baby, one born too soon has a much greater chance of dying, having breathing problems, or suffering lifelong medical complications such as cerebral palsy, visual and hearing disabilities, and mental retardation. Although vast improvements have been made in treating premature infants, thus far there has been little success in understanding and preventing prematurity. This workshop built on previous research, and focused on the role of environmental toxins, an area often overlooked, as a risk factor for delivering a preterm infant.
  • Dioxins and Dioxin-like Compounds in the Food Supply ... Released: July 01, 2003
    This report recommends policy options to reduce exposure to dioxins while considering how implementing these options could both reduce health risks and affect nutrition, particularly in sensitive and highly exposed groups, if dietary changes are suggested.
  • Ensuring Safe Food From Production to Consumption : Health ... Released: May 16, 2003
    Each year the media report what appears to be growing concern related to illness caused by the food consumed by Americans. These food borne illnesses are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, pesticide residues, and food additives. Actions taken at the federal, state, and local levels in response to the increase in reported incidences of food borne illnesses point to the need to evaluate the food safety system in the United States. Ensuring Safe Food assesses the effectiveness of the current food safety system and provides recommendations on changes needed to ensure an effective science-based food safety system.
  • Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides ... Released: January 16, 2003
    The committee prepared an updated review and evaluation of the available scientific evidence regarding the statistical association between exposure to dioxin or to the herbicides used in Vietnam and various adverse health outcomes.
  • Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2002 : Health and ... Released: January 16, 2003
    This report, Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2002, is the fourth in a series examining the impact of chemical defoliants, including Agent Orange, and their contaminants on human health. In previous updates on the health risk to veterans posed by exposure to Agent Orange and other chemicals used in Vietnam, all forms of leukemia were considered collectively when examining research on links between exposure to herbicides and the risk for cancer.
  • Health and the Environment in the Southeastern United States ... Released: November 01, 2002
    At a workshop sponsored by the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine in June 2001, titled Rebuilding the Unity of Health and the Environment in the Southeastern United States, representatives from a variety of fields worked together to address issues of health and environment specific to the southeastern region. 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.
  • Cancer and the Environment: Gene-Environment Interactions. ... Released: August 09, 2002
    Both environmental and genetic factors are known to be involved in the development of cancer. On May 16-17, 2001, the Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research and Medicine convened a workshop on Cancer and the Environment: Gene-Environment Interactions to address the link between environmental factors and the development of cancer in the light of recent advances in genomics and, more specifically, in toxicogenomics and gene-environment interactions.