J Epidemiol Community Health 58:185
  • Influential women in occupational health
  • The JECH gallery

Eula Bingham, PhD—Bridging Academia and Government

  1. D F Salerno1,
  2. I L Feitshans2
  1. 1Clinical Communications Scientist, Pfizer Global Research and Development Ann Arbor Laboratories, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  2. 2Adjunct Faculty, Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Albany, NY, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Deborah F Salerno
 2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA;

    July 1929–, Country of birth: USA

    A world class environmental scientist, Eula Bingham is a major contributor to public health through science based advocacy and regulatory toxicology. During her tenure as head of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Bingham recognised that standards were not sufficient to protect workers. She empowered workers with new rules that opened access to information from employers, previously available only to the agency. Despite several lawsuits designed to undo her policies, Bingham was courageous in her stance regarding access to information.

    “People in government do not want to pay for committees. I think they are worth their weight in gold. By having different perspectives presented, important questions get considered early in the process.”

    Bingham noted the importance of worker training, whistleblower protections, extension of coverage to public employees, and stronger enforcement authority. Under Bingham, OSHA adopted more standards (including acrylonitrile, benzene, cotton dust, inorganic arsenic, and lead) than in any similar time before or since. Currently, as Professor of Environmental Health, she is exploring the ethical and legal implications of genetic screening and monitoring at work.