Topic: environmental health

Working the system

[ Fall 2012 ] As director of the second-largest health department in Washington State, Anthony Chen, MPH ’06, tackles all the issues—from infections to inequities—that shape people’s health. The elderly Taiwanese man had been Anthony Chen’s patient for years. When the patient…

Arku's journey

[ Fall 2012 ] Raphael Arku should have been on top of the world. There he was, in his early 20s, a geologist for a gold mining company, a job with prestige and money—neither of which he’d ever had before. The second…

Getting the lead out

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] “Every time you fill up your car with gasoline, you can think of Joel Schwartz,” William Reilly, former administrator of the EPA, remarked several years ago. That’s because Schwartz, professor of environmental epidemiology, is the man behind a…

Engineering clean water

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] When sanitary engineer Gordon Fair joined the faculty of Harvard School of Public Health in 1919, one fact seemed certain: Water could sustain life, but in many cases, it could also take it away. In the late 19th…

Harvard's first lady

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] By the time Alice Hamilton joined Harvard’s faculty in 1919, she was already one of the nation’s pre-eminent researchers in the field of occupational health. Her tenacious methods were legendary—in her study of workers suffering from diseases like…

Where DNA meets daily life

[Fall 2010] The intersection of genes and the environment is the new target of public health research. Red hair is a genetically determined trait. And when redheads with Celtic roots move to sun-drenched countries near the equator, their risk of skin cancer…

Public housing, private vice

[Fall 2010] Should smoking be banned in people’s homes? Smoking is banned in the common areas of Yelena Lantsman’s home, a public-housing high-rise for the elderly in Brookline, Massachusetts, where she has lived for the last eighteen years. But it is not…

Protecting workers’ health

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] Throughout the School’s history, researchers have sought to keep workers safe and workplaces healthy. From pioneering efforts exposing the adverse effects of early-20th-century factory life to current studies on the heart health of firefighters, HSPH researchers have uncovered…

Deadly occupation, forged report

[Fall 2013 Centennial issue] In the early 1920s, workers at U.S. Radium Corporation’s luminous watch dial factory were mysteriously falling ill and dying. Eager to halt a mounting scandal, company President Arthur Roeder contacted industrial hygiene expert Cecil Drinker to investigate. Drinker,…

Saving lives in the heat of battle

[ Fall 2011 ] Christian Benjamin, MD, MPH ’96 and Michael McCarten, DO, MPH ’99  are delivering evidence-based military medicine in Afghanistan Medics roll a badly wounded U.S. soldier into the military hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He has lost both legs to…