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October 26, 1984

An environmental look at human health

JAMA. 1984;252(16):2311-2314. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350160175051

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Just 432 kilometers (270 miles) south of the Bethesda, Md, campus of the NIH lies yet another of the 11 NIH institutes—the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

Being apart from the main campus "takes a little extra effort on our part to ensure that the NIH and the Department of Health and Human Services remember that we're down here [in Research Triangle Park, NC]," says David P. Rall, MD, PhD, director of the institute. "But we make a deliberate effort to ensure a scientific cross-fertilization between the Bethesda campus and our folks."

The institute is the principal federal agency for investigating the effects of chemical, physical, and biologic environmental agents on human health. It was created in 1966 as the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, as federal officials recognized the need for a focal center among government agencies to coordinate the study of environmental health issues. After three