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Faye Glenn Abdellah Papers 1952-2004
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Collection Scope and Content Note


This series highlights technical advice given to states and regions regarding atmospheric concentrates in use by chemical companies to the United States Air Force. During this time period Pope Lawrence became Chief of the Federal Agency Section, Abatement Branch and he kept a tight handle on information regarding environmental pollution by military operations; industrial activities and research development on beryllium and toxicology matters. This series demonstrates Lawrence's files on the use of beryllium in American society by companies and how they were to comply with federal law. Also important to note is the subseries on rocket propellants used at Edwards Air Force Base. Published testimony from the Edmund S. Muskie Senate Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution pertains to public health and welfare associated with the use of beryllium and other highly toxic substances. There are also aerial maps designating work areas of industries that involved controversial mineral resources.

This series also documents Lawrence's participation in a fifteen state study on respiratory cancer to identify specific types of cancer deaths due to oral and pulmonary cancer. HEW provided assistance to state health agencies by providing research scientists and research materials in order to advance collaborative efforts on finding the causes of environmental cancer and creating potential solutions. The states involved were Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Utah. States were selected based on evidence of unusual mortality rates from respiratory cancer; observations were made throughout a ten year period between 1939-1948. The study compared those with respiratory cancer on the basis of age, site of occurrences, sex, and race (white male, white female, non-white male, non-white female). This series contains records produced by different field offices and with information on their specific research area. Several reports are also included in this series from various organizations and support systems of the federal government, such as the PHS; occupational health agencies of various states; the Cancerigenic Research Studies Section, Cancer Control Branch, NCI; the U.S. Department of Commerce; U.S. military branches; and many others.

Series highlights include correspondence files and the original field investigations reports made by the Field Investigations and Demonstrations Branch of NCI under the direction of Lawrence. Field studies were made for veterans who smoked, uranium mining and mill workers, railroad workers, firemen and diesel workers, occupational and industrial workers. The study on uranium miners were made with miners in the Colorado Plateau region who were suspect to highly toxic conditions. Other field studies monitored physiological changes, measured sputum cytology and created pulmonary function tests.

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