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MIT To Host Annual Congress on Occupational, Environmental Health

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--The 1995 Congress of Medichem, an international professional association of more than 500 occupational health professionals, will be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology September 19-22. The MIT Environmental Medical Service is the host organization.

More than 30 speakers from throughout the world are scheduled for the scientific sessions which will be held in Kresge Auditorium, which is opposite 77 Massachusetts Ave. In addition, there will be several concurrent workshops at various locations on campus.

Topics include harmonization of global standards, product stewardship, chemical update on occupational illness, update on the role of biomarkers, regulatory toxicology, risk assessment, risk communication and emerging environmental issues.

Robert J. McCunney, MD, MPH, director of MIT's Environmental Medical Service, is director of Medichem 1995, the 23rd annual meeting of the organization. This is the first time the Medichem congress has been held in the United States since 1977. Medichem is a scientific advisory committee of the International Commission on Occupational Health.

The theme of Medichem 1995 is "The Chemical Industry as a Global Citizen--Balancing Risks and Benefits."

Dr. McCunney will moderate the opening session at which the speakers will include Dr. Paul E. Gray, chairman of the MIT Corporation, who will give an overview of environmental studies at MIT. Also speaking at the opening session will be Alfred M. Theiss, MD, founder and honorary president of Medichem.

Keynote speakers include Jon Franklin, University of Oregon journalism professor, who will discuss "Poisons of the Mind;" Paul A. Schulte, chief of the screening/notification section, industrywide studies branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, "Role of Biomarkers in Occupational Medical Practice;" Joseph LaDou, MD, director, International Center for Occupational Health, University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine, "The Role of Multinational Corporations in Providing Occupational Health and Safety in Developing Countries;" Frank Rose, MB, ChB, chief medical officer, ICI plc, and international environmental and public affairs manager, ICI Paints, "The Chemical Industry's Image: Where Do We Go from Here?;" Roger McClellan, DVM, president, Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology, "An Overview of Chemical Risk Assessment;" MIT Professor William G. Thilly, director, Center for Environmental Health Sciences, "What Makes People Mutate?;" and Arnold N. Weinberg, MD, director of the MIT Medical Department, "Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Developing World."

Others from MIT who will speak include Professor Nicholas A. Ashford of the Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development, "Low-Level Chemical Sensitivity: An Emerging Occupational and Environmental Health Problem;" Daniel R. Cohn, head of the Plasma Technology and Systems Division of the Plasma Fusion Center, "Possibilities for Plasma Electrotechnology for Medical Waste Treatment;" Professor Peter C. Dedon, MD, Division of Toxicology, "Mechanisms of Target Selection by DNA-Damaging Chemicals: Studies with Edediyne Anticancer Drugs;" and Professor David H. Marks of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, "Emerging Issues in Managing Future uses of Chlorine."

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