Important Role of former Nazis in Eastern Germany." 

November 21, 1950
Central Files Decimal Number 762B.00

Development of Environmental Health Policy: Pope A. Lawrence Papers 1924-1983

Date Range: 1924-1983
Content: 40,000 pages
Source Library: History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine


Correspondence, field studies, reports, scientific data, photographs, maps, and document the varied research and policy-making career of Pope A. Lawrence, an environmental health scientist with the Public Health Service (PHS) and the Environmental Health Agency (EPA). His papers contain a wealth of primary source research materials and scientific data related to:

  • environmental and industrial hygiene
  • radon activity
  • use of beryllium as a rocket propellant
  • uranium mining
  • and toxicological, biological and chemical weapon systems, primarily from the 1950s through the 1970s, especially as related to America's atomic age federal policy

Lawrence was assigned to the Texas, New Mexico, and Utah state health departments from 1942–1952, investigating issues on industrial and environmental health. From 1952 to 1961, he supervised a 15-year study on the health of American uranium miners for the National Cancer Institute. He also served as a specialist consultant in the areas of chemical warfare, industrial emissions of toxic chemicals (i.e., lead, gases, mercury arsenic, beryllium) while serving in the Office of the Surgeon General (1962–1964). While with the Office of the Surgeon General, he entered the EPA’s Air Pollution Control Program to provide expertise on the control of hazardous materials associated with federal activities in high energy propellants and toxic weapons systems. He and his team of experts helped to write policies that would later impact legislative decisions in state and federal areas that improved the safety and health of the American laborer.

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