Commissioner: Bruce Lanphear, MD
“… pollution is at the root of many diseases and disorders that plague humankind.”
Bruce Lanphear is a Clinician Scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute, BC Children’s Hospital, and Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Bio below)
Why did you decide to join the Commission on Pollution + Health?
I was increasingly troubled by the systematic failure to tackle pollution – a leading, but largely ignored cause of many chronic diseases – as a major public health problem. The Commission on Pollution and Health has the potential to illuminate ways to PREVENT death, disease and disability around the world.
What impact will the work of the Commission have?
I am hopeful that the Commission on Pollution and Health will expand public dialogue about the the detrimental impact of pollution on people’s health and, ultimately, greater efforts to curb use of toxic chemicals and pollutants.
How can we overcome obstacles to progress in the fight against pollution? What changes do you hope to see in your lifetime?
Efforts to protect the public from toxic chemicals and pollutants usually only occur once there is an outcry from affected communities. I am hopeful that the Commission on Pollution and Health will accelerate the public’s understanding of how pollution is at the root of many diseases and disorders that plague humankind.
Bruce Lanphear is a Clinician Scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute, BC Children’s Hospital, and Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. His primary goal is to help quantify and ultimately prevent disease and disability – like asthma, learning problems and ADHD – due to exposures to environmental contaminants and pollutants. Over the past decade, Dr. Lanphear has become increasingly vexed by our inability to control the “pandemic of consumption” – the largely preventable, worldwide epidemic of chronic disease and disability due to industrial pollutants, environmental contaminants and excess consumption. He is leading an effort to produce videos – including, Little Things Matter: The Impact of Toxic Chemicals on the Developing Brain – to enhance public understanding of how our health is inextricably linked with the environment.
The Commission on Pollution and Health is an initiative of The Lancet, the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, with coordination from the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Bank. Commissioners include many of the world’s leading researchers and practitioners in the fields of pollution management, environmental health and sustainable development.