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Three Top Scientists Honored with Prestigious Heinz Award

(202) 667-6982
For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Washington, D.C. -- Among this year’s recipients of the prestigious Heinz Family Philanthropies Global Change Awards are three preeminent scientists working to advance our understanding of the impacts that chemical exposures have on human health and the environment.

The Environmental Working Group is delighted to add its congratulations to Frederick vom Saal, PhD of the University of Missouri; Lynn R. Goldman, MD, dean of the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University; and Terrence Collins, PhD of Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. vom Saal, PhD was the first to call attention to the risks posed by the ubiquitous plastics chemical bisphenol-A (BPA). His tireless work has changed the way millions of consumers concerned about chemical ingredients in products shop for themselves and their families.

“Fred has done more than anyone to alert policymakers, industry and the public to the serious and growing list of health problems associated with BPA,” said Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook. “Without his research, it’s hard to imagine we’d be where we are today with a growing number of states restricting the use of BPA, the federal government poised to act and companies moving to remove the chemical from products. BPA is on the run because of his groundbreaking work.”

Dr. Lynn Goldman, one the country’s most respected pediatricians and epidemiologists, has dedicated her life’s work to reducing the threat that industrial chemicals pose to children. As a top official of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the Clinton administration, she was instrumental in strengthening the Food Quality and Protection Act of 1996, which for the first time required measures to protect children from pesticides, and expanded vital right-to-know programs making it possible for the public to learn about chemical contamination in their communities. Since returning to academia, Dr. Goldman has focused her work on the impacts of chemical exposures on newborns.

“Dr. Goldman has stood with EWG time and again as we worked together to limit our children’s risk from pesticides and toxic chemicals,” said Cook. “Lynn’s advocacy during her time at EPA was instrumental in the passage of a landmark law that dramatically reduced the levels of pesticides that children are exposed to. Every American family has benefitted from Lynn’s work. Not many people can look back on their careers and make that claim.”

At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Terrence Collins has been a longtime leader in the field of “green chemistry” and has helped train a growing number of chemists developing safer alternatives to chemicals that pose risks to human health and the environment.

“Dr. Collins’ contribution to ‘green chemistry’ and his own commitment to producing the next generation of scientists in search of a world where chemicals aren’t synonymous with health risks deserves our collective praise,” Cook said. “He brings a optimistic intensity to his work, which is sometimes hard to do when the problems we face as a result of environmental exposures are so great.”

The 16th annual Heinz Global Change awards honored seven other individuals. Read more about them at the Heinz Family Philanthropies website: http://www.heinzawards.net/recipients

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EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. http://www.ewg.org

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