Paul Epstein, MD, MPH, co-founder and associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, died of lymphoma on November 11, 2011.
Dr. Epstein’s work in linking the spread of infectious disease with global environmental climate changes was positively directed towards finding clean technologies that would contribute to human health and well being.
In a report entitled, “Healthy Solutions for the Low Carbon Economy: Guidelines for Investors, Insurers and Policy Makers“(.pdf), Dr. Epstein and his co-authors note that:
While the benefits of the energy from fossil fuels are
self-evident, oil, coal and natural gas affect human
and ecosystem health, have widened social inequities
and fostered international conflict. The life cycle costs
include the damages from exploration, extraction, mining,
refining and transport; spills and leaks disrupt forest
and coastal marine habitat, and combustion causes
acid rain, air pollution and climate change.
A sampling of his publications include,
- Steinberg DG, Kagen SL, Epstein PR, Demain JG, Peden DB, Bernstein JA. Environment, public policy, and human health: implications of current events for the next generation of patients and physicians. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2009 May-Jun;30(3):215-6.
- Epstein PR. Fossil fuels, allergies, and a host of other ills. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Sep;122(3):471-2.
- Haines A, Smith KR, Anderson D, Epstein PR, et al. Policies for accelerating access to clean energy, improving health, advancing development, and mitigating climate change. Lancet. 2007 Oct 6;370(9594):1264-81.
- Epstein PR. Climate change and human health. N Engl J Med. 2005 Oct 6;353(14):1433-6.
- Levin RB, Epstein PR, Ford TE, Harrington W, Olson E, Reichard EG. U.S. drinking water challenges in the twenty-first century. Environ Health Perspect. 2002 Feb;110 Suppl 1:43-52.
- Haines A, McMichael AJ, Epstein PR. Environment and health: 2. Global climate change and health. CMAJ. 2000 Sep 19;163(6):729-34.