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Cancer Researcher Rall Dies

October 1, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Cancer researcher David Platt Rall has died as the result of injuries suffered in an automobile accident in Bordeaux, France. He was 73 and lived in Washington.

Rall died Tuesday, 10 days after the accident, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which he headed until retiring in 1990. He also formerly was in charge of the National Toxicology Program and held the rank in the Public Health Service of assistant surgeon general.

``The study of how the environment affects our health has lost a pioneer,″ Kenneth Olden, current director of the two institutes, said in a statement. ``Dr. Rall established the credibility of our two federal environmental health organizations and set the pace. His name is synonymous with environmental health research.″

Rall was born in Naperville, Ill., and joined the National Cancer Institute in 1954. His research there resulted in methods for preventing spread of leukemia to the brain.

He became increasingly interested in how anti-cancer drugs tend to be highly toxic when used in effective dosages. That led him to study the impact of chemicals in the environment on people’s health.

Prof. Ellen Silbergeld of the University of Maryland called Rall ``truly the intellectual and ethical founder of modern environmental medicine.″

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