Ronald E Gots

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This stub is a work-in-progress by the journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to


This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Ronald Gots and his wife Barbara Ann Gots were both Medical Doctors (MD) practicing as physicians and toxicologists in Bethesda in the USA. He also had a PhD (in some unknown field - perhaps pharmacology). Ron Gots became highly active in helping both the tobacco and the chemical industries.

Documents & Timeline

1981 He is listed as the President, National Medical Advisory Service, Washington DC. The sole function of the NMAS appears to be to identify witnesses for corporations in court, or at Congressional and other hearings, who are willing to give evidence in the corporation's favour.

1982 Apr 23 The Asbestos Litigation Reporter is reporting on the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) who is vigorously opposing a compensation scheme for asbestos workers

NAM's medical expert, Dr. Ronald Gots, said he was disturbed because the bill reaches "far beyond the limits of current medical knowledge and ignores the latest body of scientific evidence." He said medical and scientific provisions of the legislation contain erroneous presumptions; fail to consider exposure data; fail to provide guidelines to prove that associations are epidemiologically sound; falsely assumes that the medical community has developed the diagnostic criteria for asbestosis and would review the "new" occupational diseases, based upon statistically meaningless excess frequencies. Dr. Gots disputed claims by Dr. Irving Selikoff that 13 to 18 per cent of all cancers in the future will be asbestos-related. He said that perhaps Dr. Selikoff's zealotry "has taken him beyond the limits of his very valuable data base" and that instead of 20 to 30 per cent of all cancers being occupationally induced, more realistic estimates "range from three to eight per cent." [3]

1992 Oct An article in Occupational Hazards magazine is headed Putting Indoor Air Quality in its Place.

"Outspoken consultants Ronald Gots and Edward Sowinski warn of the dangers of overreacting to indoor air quality concerns. They say more science and less emotion should guide the IAQ debate

Gots is described as an occupational physician who is the founder and president of National Medical Advisory Service (NMAS). He "regards IAQ-associated problems as building related symptoms and the article uses the term Sick Building Syndrome and tight building syndrome (to de-emphasise the role played by tobacco smoke). They also bring up the Legionnaire's disease outbreak in Philadelphia in 1976.

Edward J Sowinksi is described as the owner of Environmental Health Management and Sciences Inc. is the Hudson Ohio affiliate of Gots' company NMAS. They are candid in their assessment of the problems in IAQ:

"Despite people's perceptions to the contrary, there are few occasions when symptoms are actually caused by contaminants like formaldehyde or volatile organic compounds," he said. "Most of the time, if there is a problem at all and you can identify it, it is with the HVAC system."

Gots said there are, however, cases where specific agents like chemicals, microbes, and environmental tobacco smoke are the root of indoor air problems.

For example, Gots recalled a school environment where the use of a petroleum-based product to remove floor tiles resulted in symptoms among students and teachers.[4]

Note that Gots' NMAS consulting firm has an affiliated Environmental Health Management and Sciences Inc (Hudson, Ohio) which is run by Edward J Sowinski who was also the president of the American Industrial Hygiene Association in 1992. Sowinski was a major figure in protecting the chemical industries from litigation, and he was their key liason to the Society of Toxicology.

1992 Dec 10 The E Bruce Harrison monthly report for November (sent to Betsy Annese)

  • Prepared document presenting an overview of TIEQ's 1993 activities.
  • Organised a TIEQ executive committee meeting for December 3.
  • Met with Trudy Bryan of DuPont to discuss increasing TIEQ membership contributions
  • Worked to recruit new companies to join the TIEQ coalition.
  • Met with Ron Gots to discuss contractual issues, plans for 1993 : [Gots was a Bethesda physician/toxicologist; member of the IAPAG group and TASSC; and IAQ tester (via the National Medical Advisory Service which provided witnesses to tobacco and chemical companies.). He was chairman of the TIEQ SAB and his wife Barbara was also actively involved.]
  • Monitored activities of ESCA's model IAQ bill drafting committee, and began preparing TIEQ position papers.
  • Co-sponsored and attended the symposium on multiple chemical sensitivity conducted by the International Society of Toxicology and Pharmacology (ISRTP).
[Gots and Gio Batta Gori were running this ISRTP symposium at Arlington for the tobacco industry]. Gots later founded the Environmental Sensitivities Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Met with Doug Greenwood of the American Institute for Architects to discuss AIA's work on indoor air issues.
  • Met with Ken Smith, editorial writer for the Washington Times, to discuss editorial on the involvement of DiFranza with the Surgeon General's report on youth smoking and the proceedings of the senate hearing on caret emissions;
  • Worked with Peggy Carter to gain information that would provide a news hook for Doug Bandow's coverage of the DiFranza study.
[Dr. Joseph DiFranza has produced a report on the tobacco industry's efforts to get the dirt on him after he had published a study on smoking in minors. Reynolds tried to get the names of the children involved via subpoenas, but since they were minors this failed. A very corrupt journalist [[Douglas Bandow|Doug Bandow (who usually worked through the Cato Institute) was being paid to write this up as a case of scientific fraud perpetrated against the tobacco company, and a very compliant Washington Times was willing to publish it.]
  • Many more items on this list. [5]

1994 Aug 13 RJ Reynolds have produced a paper to establish that they have good indoor air quality in their own facilities (probably for their unionised workers). They say they have

Trained maintenance mechanics, water treatment specialists, instrumentation technicians, refrigeration maintenance mechanics, and members of other trades, as well as qualified supervisors and managers form a team that is responsible for ensuring that a building's HVAC system functions properly.

[A 1991 study had shown that] ... with an HVAC system that is adequately designed, operated in accordance with current ASHRAE standards and properly maintained, all indicators for ETS are at extremely low de minimus levels, even in the presence of substantial smoking activity.

Good IAQ is in the mind of the beholder. The following quotes are from the article "Putting Indoor Air Quality In Its Place - Consultants Ronald Gots and Edward Sowinski warn of the dangers of overreacting to indoor air quality concerns . They say more science and less emotion should guide the IAQ debate" published in the October 1992 Occupational Hazards magazine:

He [Dr. Ronald Gots, an occupational physician] estimated that in 70 percent of IAQ cases he's investigated, the indoor air concerns involve either a "non-problem" with the air or "a nonidentifiable problem." "More than half the time," he said, "psychosocial factors like stress and job satisfaction, as well as ergonomics and work area lighting are at least as important in people's perceptions about the quality of the air as the air itself. "

"Consumers and workers," Gots said, "are all too willing to believe that indoor air is a serious problem and that an expensive solution is needed."

Gots estimates that at least 50 percent of the concerns that people associate with indoor air are really the manifestation of psychosocial factors . "In some cases, " he said, "peopie dissatisfied with their jobs or suffering from stress perceive that there is something wrong with the air. In other cases, one or two people experience a real problem with the air, and when they telf their coworkers, everyone develops problems. [6]

1992 March Business and Medical Community Form IAQ Coalition (Indoor Air Review)
"The new Total Indoor Environmental Quality Coalition (TIEC) (sic) has begun a national campaign to educate business, media, public policy makers and the general public about IAQ. .. it formed part of the Washington DC-based National Environmental Development Association" The so-called 'coalition' consists of AT&T, American Institute of Architects (AIA); Borden, BF Goodrich, RJ Reynolds, Sherwin Reynolds and Teune Company. [DuPont was also there but not listed)

The key positions are occupied

  • Dr Al Miller, a senior industrial hygienist with AT&T is nominally the chairman. He was worried about "sick building syndrome"
  • Ronald Gots, an IAQ expert, chairs the scientific advisory board. He stresses the non-smokers are concerned with IAQ because of workplace stress.
  • M Ward Hubbell was not listed in the article. He was Executive Director of both the TIEQ and the NEDA. He was a Reagan speechwriter and PR operator who worked for Dow Chemicals. He also established and ran the tobacco front group Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights