The Planetary Health Alliance
Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP, DIH is Professor of Environmental Medicine and Pediatrics and Dean for Global Health in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He served as the Ethel H. Wise Professor and Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Mount Sinai from 1990 to 2015.
Dr. Landrigan’s pioneering studies showing that lead is toxic to children even at very low levels were critical in persuading the US government to remove lead from gasoline and paint – actions that have reduced incidence of lead poisoning by 95%, raised the intelligence of a generation of American children and produced an annual economic benefit to the United States of $200 billion.
Dr. Landrigan chaired a committee at the National Academy of Sciences which found that children are uniquely vulnerable to pesticides and other toxic chemicals. This work provided the foundation for the Food Quality Protection Act, the federal law on pesticides and the only US environmental statute containing explicit provisions to protect the health of children.
From 1995 to 1997, Dr. Landrigan served on the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veteran’s Illnesses. In 1997-1998, he served as Senior Advisor on Children’s Health to the Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency and was instrumental in helping to establish the Office of Children’s Health Protection at EPA.
Dr. Landrigan served from 1996 to 2005 in the Medical Corps of the United States Naval Reserve. He retired in 2005 at the rank of Captain. He served in Korea, Ghana and Senegal. He was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), the National Defense Service Medal and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.
In New York, Dr. Landrigan has directed medical and epidemiological studies of the rescue workers who responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center Disaster of September 11, 2001.
Dr. Landrigan currently chairs The Lancet-Mount Sinai Global Commission on Pollution & Health.
Dr. Landrigan graduated from Boston Latin School (1959), Boston College (1963), Harvard Medical School (1967) and the London School of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, University of London (1977). He completed a residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston. He trained in epidemiology at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and served for 15 years as a CDC epidemiologist with extended overseas tours in Nigeria and El Salvador. In 1987, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.