About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Health Risks of Indoor Exposure to Particulate Matter ... Released: July 06, 2016
    The health effects of outdoor exposure to particulate matter (PM) are the subject of both research attention and regulatory action. Although much less studied to date, indoor exposure to PM—which can result from particles infiltrating from the outdoors and from various indoor sources including candles, cooking, and smoking—is gaining attention as a potential source of adverse health effects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently commissioned the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to hold a workshop examining what is known about indoor exposure to PM, examining sources of particles, their interaction with other elements of the indoor environment, exposure levels indoors, potential health concerns, ways to limit exposure, vulnerable populations, and means of communicating exposure risks and strategies to reduce exposures.
  • Promising the Best Practices in Total Worker Health (TM) ... Released: September 22, 2014
    In May 2014, with support from NIOSH, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) organized a 1-day workshop on Total Worker Health. Rather than a review of published literature, this workshop sought input from a wide variety of on-the-ground stakeholders regarding their experiences with integrating occupational safety and health protection with health promotion in the workplace.
  • Creating Equal Opportunities for a Healthy Weight - Workshop ... Released: November 25, 2013
    The 2012 IOM report Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention identified five environments in which change is needed to accelerate progress in obesity prevention. Each of these settings -physical activity, food and beverage, messaging, health care and worksites, and schools– interact with the others, creating a set of interconnected systems that can be changed only through engagement, leadership, and action among many groups and at many levels. The IOM Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention held a workshop to examine the role of the many factors that contribute to health disparities and to explore ways to create equity.
  • Technologies to Enable Autonomous Detection for BioWatch ... Released: September 04, 2013
    In response to a request from DHS, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council hosted a workshop June 25-26, 2013, that explored alternative cost-effective systems that would meet the requirements for a BioWatch autonomous detection system for aerosolized agents. The workshop, which was catalyzed by five commissioned white papers, considered the advantages and disadvantages of several technologies—nucleic acid signatures, immunoassays and protein signatures, genomic sequencing, and mass spectrometry — and the timeframe in which an integrated autonomous biodetection system using these technologies might be deployed. Additionally, the features and capabilities of an autonomous detection system that would be of value to public health officials and decision makers were discussed. This document summarizes the workshop.
  • Review of the Department of Labor's Site Exposure Matrix ... Released: March 27, 2013
    In 2000, Congress authorized compensation for Department of Energy (DOE) workers and contractors who attest that they suffer from a disease that is linked to their occupational exposure to toxic material at nuclear-related sites and facilities. To assist with compensation determinations for DOE contractors, the Department of Labor (DOL) uses a database, the Site Exposure Matrix (SEM), which was designed to organize, display, and communicate information on the toxic substances found at those sites and health effects associated with exposure to the substances. The IOM reviewed the SEM database and its use of a particular database, Haz-Map, as the sources of its toxic substance-occupational disease link. This report describes the strengths and shortcomings of both databases, and offers recommendations for improvements that could be made in both databases with a focus on enhancing the scientific rigor of SEM for both DOL claims examiners and former DOE workers.
  • Challenges and Opportunities for Change in Food Marketing ... Released: March 04, 2013
    The childhood obesity epidemic is an urgent public health problem, and it will continue to take a substantial toll on the health of Americans. The most recent data show that almost a third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Children are exposed to an enormous amount of commercial advertising and marketing for food. In 2009, children age 2-11 saw and average of more than 10 television food ads per day. The marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages is linked to overweight and obesity. The IOM hosted a workshop which examined contemporary trends in marketing of foods and beverages to children and youth and the implications of those trends for obesity prevention.
  • Alliances for Obesity Prevention: Finding Common Ground ... Released: May 11, 2012
    Many organizations are making focused efforts to prevent obesity. To achieve their goals, accelerate their progress, and sustain their success, the assistance of many other individuals and groups—not all of them with a singular focus on obesity prevention—will be essential. In October 2011 the Institute of Medicine held a workshop that provided an opportunity for obesity prevention groups to hear from and hold discussions with many of these potential allies in obesity prevention. They explored common ground for joint activities and mutual successes, and lessons learned from efforts at aligning diverse groups with goals in common.
  • Incorporating Occupational Information in Electronic Health ... Released: September 30, 2011
    Each year in the United States, more than 4,000 occupational fatalities and more than 3 million occupational injuries occur along with more than 160,000 cases of occupational illnesses. Incorporating patients’ occupational information into electronic health records (EHRs) could lead to more informed clinical diagnosis and treatment plans as well as more effective policies, interventions, and prevention strategies to improve the overall health of the working population. At the request of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the IOM appointed a committee to examine the rationale and feasibility of incorporating occupational information in patients’ EHRs. The IOM concluded that three data elements – occupation, industry, and work-relatedness – were ready for immediate focus, and made recommendations on moving forward efforts to incorporate these elements into EHRs.
  • Climate Change, the Indoor Environment, and Health : Health ... Released: June 07, 2011
    Despite the considerable research on how climate change may affect public health, the impact of climate change on indoor environments has received relatively little attention. At the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the IOM examined the current state of scientific understanding of the effects of climate change on those environments. The IOM concludes that climate change can create indoor environmental problems and outlines specific ways for the EPA, other government organizations, and the private sector to prevent or reduce negative health effects from these problems.
  • Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf ... Released: October 29, 2010
    It is as yet uncertain how the Gulf of Mexico oil spill will affect the health of clean-up workers, residents, and visitors in the Gulf. The IOM recommends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services focus on researching psychological and behavioral health, exposure to oil and dispersants, seafood safety, communication methods for health studies, and methods for conducting research in order to better understand and mitigate the effects on human health for this oil spill and for future disasters.