NIH News Advisory
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Monday, October 27, 1997
John Peterson
(919) 541-7860

NIEHS Booklet Spells Out Environmental Diseases From A to Z
Youngsters may scoff at parental advice to wear a warm coat or put on sunscreen, but most diseases really are caused, in part, by the environment we live in. Judith Stern, professor of nutrition and internal medicine at the University of California at Davis, sums it up this way: "Genetics loads the gun, but environment pulls the trigger."

To illustrate this, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health, has produced a colorful booklet, Environmental Diseases From A to Z. It takes the reader on an illustrated journey through the alphabet, covering a wide range of environmentally-induced illnesses from asthma to zinc deficiency.

"The book gives readers some idea of the great diversity of environmental agents one may be exposed to, and the many, many diseases that result," NIEHS Director Kenneth Olden said. "Some of these, like cancer and birth defects, are very familiar, while others, such as yusho poisoning and xeroderma, will be new to most readers."

The booklet's simple language makes it an appropriate resource for a wide variety of audiences, from school children to adults, who want to learn more about how these diseases affect our daily lives. It even includes suggestions on how the illnesses can be treated or prevented!

A free copy is available by writing to: NIEHS Office of Communications, P.O. Box 12233, Research Triangle Park, N.C. 27709, Attn: John Peterson, Mail Drop EC-12, or calling John Peterson at (919) 541-7860. E-mail requests should be directed to Teachers may receive larger quantities.