Americans have an unwavering belief that biomedical technology will solve our health problems. This belief is fueled by successful technologies, like vaccines, as well as the profit motive. Paradoxically, many innovative technologies of the past, such as smoking, motor vehicles, and guns are killing us today. Using common diseases like heart disease, childhood leukemia, ADHD and autism as case studies, Lanphear will set up a forum to dialogue about:
• whether our ultimate goal should be to search for the cause or the cure
• whether we should be more strategic about the types of technologies we embrace
Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH, is a Senior Scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute, British Columbia Children’s Hospital and Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. His primary research has been on quantifying and preventing the adverse consequences of low-level lead toxicity. The long-term goal of his research is to prevent common diseases and disabilities in children, such as asthma and ADHD. To quantify the contribution of risk factors, he tests various ways to measure children’s exposures to environmental toxicants using novel biomarkers measured during pregnancy and early childhood. Dr. Lanphear also designs experimental trials to test the efficacy of reducing children’s exposures to environmental hazards on asthma symptoms and behavioral problems.