Sterling Family (Doc Index)

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

The Sterling family consisted of:

  • Theodor D. Sterling, a Canadian professor in statistics and computing science who worked mainly through Simon Frazer University and lived for most of his working life in Canada. [Note: no E on Theodor] His two sons were:
  • Elia M. Sterling who ran the family hygiene business, Theodor D. Sterling & Associates (aka TDS Ltd, TDA) is a qualfied architect. Elia became a key member of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Airconditioning Engineers) which set air-conditioning standards. C/v
  • David A Sterling an occasional Associate Professor at various institutions, who worked intermittently for the tobacco industry with Demetrios J Moschandreas at IITRI (Illinois Institute of Technology, Research Institute) a Chicago research establishment.
-- The main Sterling Family company was originally known as Theodor D. Sterling Ltd and later best-known as TDS Ltd. It claims to be "a multi-disciplinary consulting firm providing indoor air quality, environmental and a variety of occupational hygiene & safety consulting services to clients in Canada, the United States and South America."

There is a 1990 list of publications by members of the Sterling family on tobacco smoke issues. They wre churning out dozens each year and attending closed and controlled tobacco industry conferences all over the world. See Publication List to 1990

Main Family Associates


  • Christopher W Collett, project manager and long-term employee. He was a British subject living in Vancouver
  • Anthony Arundel He was in the normal employment of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, School of Computing Sciences Simon Fraser University , but he seems to have regularly worked for the Sterling company.
  • James A Ross
  • Some C/Vs of associates


This is a split entry
Father & Company Theodor D. Sterling
Eldest son:     Elia M. Sterling
Youngest:   Prof David A Sterling

Biolgraphical Outline

Theodor was a life-long servant of the tobacco industry who provided a wide range of professional services for the tobacco industry, mainly involving statistical calculations in the early days of their relationship. Later he moved into industrial hygiene and indoor air pollution testing and denial of smoking as a health problem. He specialised in industry plots to defeat anti-smoking regulations, and helped promote lax standard for indoor air quality, and to generally attack the science used to promote pollution-free air.

Sick Building Syndrome

He invented the term 'tight building syndrome' (meaning the air was locked in 'tight') which later became even more sensationalised as 'sick buildings' -- and his contemporary, Gray Robertson of HBI, later developed these scare terms into "Sick Building Syndrome". Both the air testing IAQ lobbyists, and the Sterlings, appreciated the value in the term Sick Building Syndrome following the famous Legionnairre's Disease scare.

Building Performance Database

In 1986-86 with James J Weinkam, a long-term associate (then with the Computer department of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby) they set up the "Building Performance Database" which held information on 261 buildings on such specific products/factors as building materials, energy use, ventilation, lighting, acoustics, indoor air pollution levels, and reported effects on the health and comfort of occupants. This was supposedly an analytical tool for architects designing IAQ systems and performance of air-conditioning.[3]

The family company will be found under a number of different names in the tobacco documents: Theodor D. Sterling Ltd, TD Sterling Ltd; TDS Ltd.; TDS; TD Sterling & Associates; Theodor D Sterling & Associates; TDSA; and TSA.

Documents & Timeline

Note: Special Project #4 grants were secret grants which didn't go through the CTR's normal review processes.
This information is mostly extracted from the Jun 22 1990 Summary of CTR Special Projects. Many of the payments made to Theodor Sterling and his company were for regular amounts, and it can be assumed that these were retainers paid both to Sterling himself, and possibly for the use of the Simon Frazer computers.

1965 Mar Theodor Sterling at the University of Cincinnati has made a statement for the tobacco industry before the Senate Committee on Commerce.

  • Existing evidence does not establish and firm causal relationship between smoking and disease.
  • Existing evidence does indicate a number of important problem areas that should receive thorough study
  1. A number of animal studies have attempted to produce lung cancer by means of cigarette smoke, The results of all these studies have been negative.
  2. Epidemiological evidence, based mostly on statistical manipulation, is unclear, conflicting, and in many ways impossible to interpret.
This the association one observes may not be between cigarette smoking and disease but it may be between a certain style of life and disease. [4]

1967 May 6 A new British study done by Dr Thomas D Day (ex-head of Harrogate labs, run by the UK Tobacco Research Council) establishes link between smoking and lung cancer This is a skin-painting cancer study + American Surgeon-general report and British Royal College of Physicians in UK. So link is now undeniable. [5]

1967 Sep 26 Theodor Sterling was working for the tobacco industry. He was commissioned by Kansas City lawyers, Shook Hardy & Bacon to provide an analysis of the Morbidity Study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistic. Shook Hardy & Bacon have distributed the analysis of the Morbidity Study and wanted commebts from the executives of the Ad Hoc Committee [6]

1967 Sept-OctTheodor Sterling appears to have begun working for the tobacco industry when commissioned by Kansas City lawyers, Shook Hardy & Bacon to provide commentary on a Morbidity Study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistcs. He has given them some ways to object to the study findings. His comments were welcome by the industry: James Ravlin a lawyer at Brown & Williamson has suggested that it would be good to get him to do further work.

He is willing to testify before the Congress committees that the Morbidity Study is faulty. [7] [8] [9]]

1967 Oct 6 This is Sterling's commentary on a Morbidity Study, where he seems to have given them some avenues to mount an objection to the study findings. His comments were welcome by the industry: James Ravlin a lawyer at Brown & Williamson has suggested that it would be good to get him to do further work. [10]

1967 Oct 20 David R Hardy of Shook Hardy & Bacon (under older company name) is advising his tobacco industry executive group (representatives from the various US tobacco companies) that Professor Sterling has provided a excellent analysis of the "Morbidity Study" They have now managed to get some other government publications that he needed to make a 'comprehensive analysis' which will take him approximately one month. He is working at this time at the University of Washington (St Louis)

He feels that as a scientist he should be given the right to first meet with Endicott's lung cancer committee and show them how the Morbidity Study is not entitled to any credence. If he is permitted to do that, he will be agreeable to testifying as to the results of his findings in Congress or elsewhere, and this is true regardless of whether he receives a friendly or hostile reception from Endicott's committees.[11]

[Note that these letters are ccd to Senator Earle Clements]] There is some confusion about his appearance and lung-cancer. [12]

1968 Jan 3 Sterling outlines objections to the statistical treatment of data in the Morbidity Study to William Shinn at SH&B. [13]

1968 Jan 13William Shinn the tobacco lawyer from Shook Hardy & Bacon has flown to St Louis to "communicate to him most of the observations" made earlier. Sterling has changed some of his report.

It is suggested that the enclosed pages 49-74 of the "Evaluation" be substituted for pages 49-73 previously sent to you and that the enclosed pages 11-14 of the "Abstract and Summary" be substituted for pages 11-15 as previously sent.'

[In other words they have rewritten 29 of the 75-odd pages]

They also discuss getting the original data tapes from the PHS, and he wants a different type of contract here "He suggests that a contract be written with a university -- such as Washington University, with which he is associated -- to accomplish the following:

  1. obtain and analyse the basic data upon which the 1967 morbidity study is based
  2. arrange a meeting of persons both within and without the PHS to discuss the morbidity study and to examine the underlying data.

He planned to publish an article on his study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) - and he wanted to testify before Congress.[14]

1968 Mar 4 He is Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics at Washington University, St Louis, Mo in March 1968 when he agrees to do a "Special Project for Legislative preparation". A note-to-file record for a Sterling Project: "contains notes regarding Dr. Sterling's approved special project funds in the amount of $54,000 for "legislative preparation." It also notes that Dr. Sterling will not receive the monies "if it develops [he] cannot get the basic tape materials." [Handwritten]. [15]

[These tapes contained the primary data from the Public Health Service (PHS) that Sterling would criticise. The department sent him a copy and a bill for $1,100 for preparation time]

1968 (vague date) Sterling's Abstract and Summary of 'An Evaluation and Critique of the Report Linking Cigarette Smoking to General Morbidity and Disability. He attacks the National Center for Health Statistics report Cigarette Smoking and Health Characteristics [16] Also his statement to Congress [17]

1968 April 8 Sterling is sometimes still dealing with his research funding through legitimate university channels. He sends a proposal to the Council of Tobacco Research for a grant of $53,565 which is being handled by William N Papian, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Research at the Washington University, and has "the full endorsement of the University."

His proposal includes both a large and a small "advisory group selected for their reputation in relevant fields". It is an attack on the Public Health Service (PHS) research. [18]

He also sends the Ad Hoc Committee of the tobacco industry the wording of the Statement he intends to make before Congress. [19]

1968 May 1 - Aug 31 1969 : Special Project #4 grant "Feasibility of a definitive evaluation of the data concerning smoking and general morbidity and disability"

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 51 --- $53,565
    Project 51S -- $4,300 (S = supplementary)

1968 May 14 Handnote by Cyril F Hetsko, of the Committee of Counsel recording decisions taken at a meeting.

  1. Sterling says he wants to arrange for staff at $15,000
  2. We approved $15,000 (or as much less as possible) whether Sterling gets data from Government or not.
  3. If Sterling gets the Government data, then we are committed for the $53,000 discussed at the ???? meeting in Washington.


[Sterling got the tapes with the data from the PBS. See payment of $1,100][22]

1968 Nov 26 Sterling has sent his "first instalment of our total report" along to the CTR. He has a panel of scientists now, and they will later make recommendations. [23] The full report is 165 pages [24] However different opinions were being expressed about the validity or value of his work. [25]

1968 Nov 29 Sterling has signed another contract with the CTR, but the contract is "between Washington University and the Council for Tobacco Research--USA" on the feasibility of a review and public analysis of the PHS report on morbidity, Cigarette Smoking and Health Characteristics.

He has produced a "Status Report summarising the work and recommendations of the group which Sterling convened" (an Advisory Panel) which says that the claims made (in Morbidity Study) "cannot be justified." Sterling is now advising the tobacco industry to lobby politically to have them set up a permanent Commission and he favours the claims made in the UK by Sir Ronald A Fisher and Joseph V Berkson (Both statisticians who are well exposed as tobacco lobbyists now) [26]

1968 Dec 26 [later Subpoena of doc] SH&B letter from Dave Hardy to his associates re a Sterling document "Report and Recommendations of the Advisory Panel to the Feasibility Study." Hardy things this "is perhaps the best work that Professor Sterling has done and it appears that we now have several other distinguished scientist who were members of the panel and who concur in our long held position that the Government's work in these various surveys is not reliable." [27]

1969 April 29 Sterling testified for the tobacco industry before the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce.

This document appears to be a PHS critique of Sterling's commentary. [28]

1969 June 4 The Minutes of the Committee of Counsel. BOTH Abe Krash and Earle Clements [from Arnold & Porter/Clements & Krash] are in attendance. Shinn [of SH&B] reported on [Theodore] Sterling's air pollution project. They mistakenly previously assumed the amount for this to be $3,000 whereas it will be about $10,000 Approved (This may have a bearing on the Hammond data).[29]

1969 Sep Sterling wants payment for two years of unspecified "Correspondence and discussion of Canadian data with a number of statisticians and investigators in Canada during the years 1968 and 1969"

  • 3 days at $300/day = $900.00
    he also charges
  • 3 days for preparing for and attending hearings in Ottawa - $900.00
  • Travel and search expenses bring the total up to - $2,497.75 [30]

1969 Oct 15 A review of the Sterling Panel Report. [31]

1969 Dec 15 to 1970 : Special Project #4 grant "Gathering and Evaluating data investigations into the relation between environmental factors and lung cancer,"

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 56 -- 1969 -- $5,000
                    -- 1970 -- $4,700
    Project 56S -- 1970 -- $1,500 (S = supplementary)

1970 Mar 3 Meeting of the tobacco industry's Committee of Counsel in New York. Matters discussed were:

  • [Theodor] Sterling proposal to try to get the Hammond-Horn data (basis of 1953-54 study) and to do a feasibility study on it. A memo entitled "A Proposed Sequence of Steps Leading to an Evaluation of Epidemiological and Statistical Works of Cuyler Hammond" was distributed. It was decided that Sterling should be asked to furnish a more detailed proposal.[see document for more details]
  • [Hans] Eysenck proposal for study of emotional and non-emotional rats and their hormonal differences as an analog of human experience. It would study the glandular secretions of the rats as basis for similar reactions in humans -- that is, the constititional theory. This goes to the idea of some people being "cancer prone."
  • [Theodor] Sterling (No2) ([David] Hardy referred to the previously authorized Sterling study of air pollution). [William] Shinn says Sterling theory is that coal-burning countries have higher incidence of lung cancer than non-coal burning countries .[See document for details]
  • [Kurt] Enslein has proposed several reports that are very technical and difficult to understand. We have paid Enslein $27,000 as a CTR Special Project (Enslein is also a CTR grantee as to work on multivriate analysis)
  • [Alvan] Feinstein (To evaluate Enslein data and supervise Enslein.)
        Would study the Doll-Hill data -- the "case controlled" study is a major element in the litigation, etc. area today because it purportedly shows a decline in lung cancer amongst English doctors as their smoking declined. If there are flaws in Doll, it would be invaluable to know this for litigation. We are not making any financial committments to Feinstein at this time.
  • [Carl] Seltzer (a) CTR Special Project of $30,000 per year for 3 or 4 years has been in effect. This has been in form of a gift to his Department of Nutrition at Harvard.
        (b) Through Central Files, [David] Hardy [at SH&B] has also been paying Seltzer as a consultant. We reaffirmed continuation for 1969 [sic meaning for 1970] of the CTR Special Project refered to in (a) above.
  • Stan Temko [Covington & Burling lawyer -- see document for details]
  • [Oscar] Auerbach dogs-lung cancer [To attack smoking beagles study - See document] [33]

1970 Jul 1 Special Project #4 grant "Feasibility study - a Critical reassessment of the evidence bearing on smoking as the (Major) cause of lung Cancer"

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 61 --- 1970 -- $17,873
                    -- 1971 -- $7,000

1971 Mar 25 - 16 Mar 1972 : Special Project #4 grant "Feasibility study of the Review of Crucial Data Bearing on Smoking and Health Care"

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 62 -- 1971 -- $72,428
    Project 62A -- 1971 -- $22,800
                          1972 -- $12,000

1971 Oct 6 Sterling has had a letter published in the journal Nature which had been responded to By Dr Higginson of the World Health Organisation. This, in turn, had been responded to by the Tobacco Institute's favourite statistics lobbyist Marvin A Kastenbaum. The information is circulated by SH&B with a warning not to admit to having seen the correspondence. [36]

1972 Feb 29 Theodor Sterling is writing to Bill Shinn at Shook Hardy & Bacon, seeking $5,000 to support a panel at a Pollution: Engineering conference being held in Tel Aviv. He has asked for the payment to be laundered through the ALEPH Foundation. [37]

[The AELPH Foundation was run by Ervin Y Rodin and Gerald L Esterson (Exec Director).(Both Washington University professors ... as was Theodor Sterling at this time) They say the ALEPH is a "non-profit foundation fostering international cooperation and dialog among professionals and scientific groups." They were willing to act as an 'intermediary' for Theodor Sterling running a tobacco funded conference in Israel.[38]

1972 Mar 1 Bill Shinn of Shook Hardy & Bacon is writing to the Committee of Counsel members, who handle the allocation of Special Account #4 money to their scientific hirelings.

The work which Dr. Theodor Sterling has been doing in connection with air pollution became unusually valuable following the President' s transmission on January 31 of an air pollution message to Congress, which you have received, that attempted to implicate cigarette smoking in 95% of lung cancer and 90% of chronic obstructive lung disease.

Dr. Sterling has consulted with us in connection with this message and has also, at Jack Mills request, attended meetings in Washington.

(John ('Jack') Mills was Senior VP for Federal Relations at the TI and a Republican apparatchik)

We would like for him to have every opportunity to continue his work in this area and he has recently submitted a request to us to help fund a panel on "Effects of Pollutants on Human Health." This panel will meet in connection with an International Meeting of the Society of Engineering Science in Tel Aviv, Israel, during June. A copy of the program, is enclosed.

Dr Sterling is requesting a grant to the ALEPH Foundation, which will administer the funds. Copies of both the letter from Dr Sterling requesting support and the ALEPH Foundation's letter to Dr Sterling are also enclosed. We recommend a grant of $5,000 as a special project (non-CTR) and would appreciate your letting us know your views by March 10.

I have just received, and also enclose a copy of Dr Sterling's latest published article "The Incidence of Lung Cancer in the US Since 1955 in Relation to the Etiology of the Disease." [39]

1972 June 12 - 17 Pamphlet for the conference "Pollution Engineering and Scientific Solutions" held at a hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel. The pamphlet shows that Ervin Y Rodin was a Professor of Applied Mathematics at Washington University. (Sterling was there at this time also). His associate as Executice Director of the ALEPH Foundation, Gerald L Esterson was a Proessor in Chemical Engineering at Washington U, and served as "Chairman of the US Program Committee" for the conference.

They managed to get the EPA, NOAA and Washington University all listed as US co-sponsors of the conference, along with the School of Engineering, Tel Aviv University. And Sterling is listed as "Convenor" of the section on "Effects of Pollutants on Human Health" [40]

1972 Aug 31 The audit of the Secret Special Project #4 account show that the $5,000 was paid to ALEPH. Also another $11,385 directly to Theodor Sterling for his considerable contributions to the financial health of the tobacco industry. [41]

1972 Dec 14 : Special Project #4 grant "Review of the NAS report on Particulate Pollutants as Alternative Antecedent to Lung Cancer"

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 71 --- $9,000
    [This project was voided at Sterlings's request.]

1973 Jul 1 - Apr 2 1975 : Special Project #4 grant "A continuing critical review of major factors in the etiology of lung cancer and other diseases emerging from Statistical Studies"

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 71 -- 1973 -- $30,710
                        1974 -- $30,710
    Project 71A -- 1974 -- $34,855
                          1975 -- $34,855
    Project 71AS -- 1975 -- $11,400 (Supplement)
[This appears to have been a budget for defence in the famous Rose Cipollone case -- it matches in time the litigation defense budget of $600,000 plus an extension of $283,130].

1976 Sep 1 - Aug 31 1977 : Special Project #4 grant "Literature Review -- Analysis of data re etiology of lung cancer and other diseases" [Literature reviews were the tobacco industry's equivalent of an undefined 'retainer']

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 71B/C -- 1975 -- $46,712
                              1976 -- $99,117
                              1977 -- $52,465

1977 Jul 1 - Jun 31 1980 : Special Project #4 grant

  1. Relationship of chronic morbidity among married women to husbands occupation
  2. Errors of Misclassification in Dorn Study
  3. Critical review of major factors in statistical study (Stress on ventilation)

    Theodor D Sterling [working with Diana Kobayashi]
        Project 71 D/E/F --1977 -- $168,283
                                    1978 -- $177,270
                                    1979 -- $ 93,055
    Diana Kobayashi [working with Theodor D Sterling]    
    Project 71 D/E/F -- 1977 -- $ 168,283
                                    1978 -- $177,270
                                    1980 -- $ 238,460 [71E]
                                    1980 -- $ 238,460 [71F]

1977 Oct 1 - Jun 30 1978 : Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data" [This was not Sterling's personal annual retainer. It was probably intended to be paid through his company to Simon Fraser University for use of their main-frame computer services.]

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni (sic)]
    Project 94 -- 1977 -- $23,397

1977 inclusive from 1957 Bibliography of Theodor Sterling (not clear all are by him) [47]

1978 Theodore Sterling says he was a visiting professor at Princeton University during this year.    
His son David Sterling says he was an Environmental and Occupational Health/Industrial Hygiene Consultant with his family company, TDS Ltd, in Vancouver, BC Canada between 1978 and 1981

1978 Jul 1 - Jun 30 1979 : Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data"

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni (sic)]
    Project 94 R1 -- 1978 -- $27,450

1978 Oct Theodor Sterling testified at Congressional hearings on public smoking. : [49]

1978 Dec 1 - 1982 : Special Project #4 grant "Retrospective Analysis of envionmental contacts of patients with respiratory cancer, other cancers, and other diseases. [Interviews done by Harold Perry for Theodor Sterling]" [Perry from the Sinai Hospital in Detroit was conducting lung-cancer patient interviews under contract to Theodor Sterling who was working for the Committee of Counsel. These interviews appear to have actually been done for litigation purposes in Cipollone case. They appear to have paid an up-front fee of $15,390 in the first year before any work was done.]

Harold Perry [actually for Theodor D Sterling]
    Project 100   --   1978 -- $15.390
                              1979 -- $62,816
                              1980 -- $67,339
    Project 100 R1 -- 1981 -- $65,882
    Project 100 R2 -- 1981 -- $98,822
    Project 100 R3 -- 1981 -- $17,630
                              1982 -- $52,890
    Project 100 S -- 1980 -- $32,941 (Supplementary_

1979 Apr Theodor D Sterling's Continuing Critical Review of Major Factors in Statistical Studies of Smoking & Health introduces Elia Sterling to the tobacco industry. This is a report on his on-going projects for the industry. He is now back in Simon Fraser University.

  • He has been getting reactions from papers in the Journal of Occupational Medicine (1976) and Medical Journal of Australia (1977)
  • reactions from article "Does Smoking Kill Workers or Does Working Kill Smokers" in the International Journal of Health Services.
  • He is associated with statistical collection by Dr Stell in UK, Dr Arvin S Glicksman (Brown University) and Dr Harold Perry (Sinai Hospital Detroit). This is a retrospective mortality study to unconfound occupation from smoking effects.

• Research on synergism with Dr James J Weinkam (Simon Fraser Uni)

  • Pollution in Enclosed Space research (cigarette smoke is trivial)
* His own publication in Journal of Environmental Research in 1977. Now supplemented by
* Elia Sterling publication in Journal of Architectural Research
* Talk by Elia Sterling in proceedings of Environmental Design Research in Architecture conference in 1979
  • Kitchen pollution (carbon monoxide) paper in Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association (March 1979). Two studies on pollution effects of gas cookers, one with Lawrence Berkeley Labs.) [See [51]]
*planning a review of subject in Journal of Environmental Research
  • Rewriting paper at editorial request on "Statistical Problems in the Use of Sputum Cytology as a Survey Instrument" for the Archives of Pathology
  • article/review of reversals observed in many studies on smoking and CHD. Using observations of Carl C Seltzer (Peabody Museum, Harvard)
  • Statistical analysis of smoking and occupation - sex, race, income , has provided data for...
* errors in estimating smoking prevalence (misclassification) by Dr James J Weinkam.
* smoking as a function of social variables with Professor Laudon. Preparation for Sur-Gen report in 1980.
  • Research on magnetometric techniques - on the in vitro effect of lung viscosity on magnetite particles with Drs Reinstein, Robinson and Alvin SGlicksman.
  • On-going review of relevant literature and experiments - anticipating factors and variables for future work

He now asked for a three-year renewal of his present research budget. "As before, some of the funding and staff will be divided between Simon Fraser University and the Principle Investigator's needs in cooperating with a widely dispersed group of collaborators." [52]

1979 Jul 1 - Jun 30 1980 : Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data"

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni (sic)]
    Project 94 R2 -- 1979 -- $27,930

1979 Sep 1 - Oct 1980: Special Project #4 grant "Evaluation of the interaction between geographic, geocultural, smoking and health variables and indicies"     [This was a specific project, quite distinct from Sterling's personal annual retainer.]

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 105 -- 1979 -- $36.474
                          1980 -- $18,236

1979 Nov 26Harvard's Peabody Museum is getting $70,000 from the CTR's Special Project fund #4. This is actually for Carl C Seltzer's annual retainer, which was generally paid to Austin Brennan, Business Manager at the Peabody Museum for Seltzer's "Special Project 85R3" (A/C paid in two halves) [55] The same list has :

  • Theodor Sterling ($31,585 and $54,710) and Simon Frazser University ($78,777) [a total of $165,072]
  • Harold Perry received $128,141 (He worked with Sterling on the Cippolone case)
  • two payments to Hans Eysenck ($30,000 and $3,600)
  • two payments to the Franklin Institute totalling $26,083 [Would be for Gio B Gori ]
  • Kenneth Moser (Uni of Cal, San Diego) got $198,000.
  • Eleanor Macdonald received her usual $109,358 [for conducting Texas autopsies] [56]

1980 Feb 27 Sterling has requested via SH&B continued funding for his current project until May 1981 He is splitting his fee with Simon Fraser University. He wants $238,460 for himself and $44,670 to the university for computer use and programmer time. The project was previously funded (1977-80) for $600,000. [57]

1980 Jul 1 Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data" [This was not Sterling's personal annual retainer. It was probably intended to be paid through his company to Simon Fraser University for use of their main-frame computer services.]

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni (sic)]
    Project 94 A -- 1980 -- $44,670

1980 Sep 12 - Jan 14 1981 : Special Project #4 grant "Feasibility study on the effects of current practices in architecture and mechanical design on the health, comfort and quality of working life of workers in energy efficient office buildings."     [This was also specific research done for the Cippolone case.]

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 108     -- 1980 -- $9,900
    Project 108 S -- 1980 -- $3,150 (S = supplementary)

[A note says: "A possible Amish project in Pennsylvania was called off after considerable investigation. Commissioned and Exploratory Survey by Eleanor Macdonald."]
1981 the National Academy of Sciences report "Indoor Pollutants" concluded that tobacco smoke (ETS) was the major source of indoor air pollution among five factors:
  1. quality of outdoor air
  2. nature of the ventilation system (more problems in air conditioned offices)
  3. type of building materials and fabrics (formaldehyde off-gassing from particle boards, adhesives, fabrics.     
  4. the human occupants - CO2 and body odors
  5. activities in the space (smoking, use of photocopiers) [60]
[In 1984 TD Sterling reported that there is little published empiricle research evidence to substantiate this claim.

1981 May 4 Ernest Pepples, the Senior Vice President of Brown & Williamson responsible for science corruption activities has written to tobacco lawyers Shook Hardy & Bacon.

Re:T.D.Sterling and Elia Sterling
In reference to your letter of April 22 1981 on behalf of T.D. and Elia Sterling, we will join in the total funding proposed at $200,000 for the Sterling work. [61]

Alexander W Spears, the Vice President at Lorillard has sought more information on this project. They plan an "Architectural Stress Information Schedule", which is a questionnaire to collect data on the buildings - number of windows, air-conditioning, etc.

The aim appears to be for Sterling to conduct some research, simply to have material to discuss at future scientific meetings. He has also introduced them to the new term (which later became a favourite) "Office building syndrome" (sick building syndrome) RJR and B&W have approved the project. Lorillard is of the opinion that the "science" (their quotes) he is proposing is weak. [62]

1981 Apr 22 Shook Hardy & Bacon has replied to the tobacco industry's Ad Hoc Committee. They had funded a feasibility study of office environments from the Sterlings in August 1980 for $13,050 -- and now they will fund the main "Office Building Syndrome" project. They define the term:

...a general term given to a collection of non-specific symptoms about workers in "energy efficient" office buildings have complained.

They hope to get NISH data on 50 office buildings where occupants had complained of "uncomfortable working conditions". {This is the beginning of the Sick Building Syndrome scam.]

A second part of the study brought the office workers union of New York City in as allies of the tobacco companies. Their members want to continue to smoke, so the idea that the owners were negligent in air-conditioning maintenance became a union/worker rationalisation.

This was a scam. The tobacco industry wanted office building owners and renters to run their air-conditioning equipment at the highest rate, to clear the smoke from the air as much as possible. But during the energy-crisis years when heating and cooling was very expensive, they all resisted increasing the air exchange rate, so workers suffered from second-hand smoke and complained. The ploy the Sterlings were exploiting was that of claiming that the problems came, not from smoke, but from other volatile chemicals in the atmosphere and from viruses and bacterial in the water-cooled ventilation equipment. This became known as SBS - Sick Building Syndrome.

Theodor Sterling has included a CV of his son Elia, who is to be co-principal investigator. Which suggests this was their first association with Elia. [63]

1981 Jun 1 - Mar 31 1982: Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data"

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni (sic)]
    Project 94 B -- 1981 -- $37,648

1981 Jul 1 Special Project #4 grant "A continuing critical review of major factors in statistical studies in the area of smoking and health" [In Jun 22 1990 Summary of CTR Special Projects] [This was virtually a negotiated retainer for his company services]

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 71G --- 1982 -- $283,590

1982 Payment of $144k (unknown)

1982 Jan 1 to 1 June 1984: Special Project #4 grant "The study of architectural, ventilation and lighting actors in relation to Office Building Syndrome."
    [In June 22 1990 Summary of CTR Special Projects]

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 115 -- 1982 -- $143,991
                          1983 -- $63,922

1982 Mar 13 Waxman Hearings on tobacco labelling in Congress.

DAY THREE was devoted to tobacco industry witnesses led by Tobacco Institute Executive Committee Chairman Horrigan and featuring a panel of research scientists and one of behavioral experts. First news coverage was a long UPI story at lunchtime which began,

    "Lung cancer remains a medical mystery and cannot be directly linked biologically to cigarette smoking, a tobacco industry researcher told Congress Friday. 'The fact is that the vast majority of smokers -- more than 90 percent of even heavy smokers -- do not develop lung cancer,"

Sheldon Sommers , a physician and professor of pathology at Columbia Univ., told a Congressional subcommittee considering new warning labels for cigarette packages." Sheldon Sommers explained that epidemiology cannot prove cause and effect, merely a relationship. "The biomedical experimentation does not support the smoking causation hypothesis," he said.

[snip] THE MEDICAL PANEL [Furst, Sterling, Fisher and Sommers] told the subcommittee that the bill's scientific findings are based on insufficient data and could divert attention and resources from crucially needed research on chronic diseases.

  • "A Congressional finding that cigarette smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer' implies a scientific certainty that I, as a scientist, believe to be unwarranted," said Arthur Furst , a consultant to the World Health Organization and professor emeritus at Univ. of San Francisco.
  • Theodor Sterling of Simon Fraser Univ., British Columbia, warned that "factual knowledge about the antecedents of lung disease will remain incomplete if we continue to simplistically blame cigarette smoking and continue to ignore the possible effects of the work-place on the health of workers."
  • A professor of pathology at the Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Edwin R. Fisher , said his own experimental work and review of scientific literature "leads me to the conclusion that cigarette smoking has not been scientifically established to be a cause of atherosclerosis."
  • Sheldon Sommers explained that epidemiology cannot prove cause and effect, merely a relationship. "The biomedical experimentation does not support the smoking causation hypothesis," he said.

All four panel members told the subcommittee, in response to a question from Rep. Waxman, that they have no professional relationship with The Tobacco Institute, which invited them to testify.
[They may not have had a professional relationship with the Tobacco Institute, but they had all been paid serious money on a regular basis by the Council for Tobacco Research -- mostly through its secret Special Project #4 Accounts.]
[Source Tobacco Institute Newsletter] [67]

[Everyone of the 34 quoted 'experts' on this list, was a long-standing tobacco tout funded by the industry.]

1982 Apr 1 Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data"

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni (sic)]
    Project 94 C -- 1982 -- $52,950

1982 May 1 - 30 April 1983: Special Project #4 grant "A continuing critical review of major factors in statistical studies in the area of smoking and health" [A negotiated retainer for his company services]

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 71H --- 1982 -- $324,860

1982 Jun 6-11 David A Sterling was presenting with his father at the American Industrial Hygiene Association Conference, in Cincinnati Ohio.

1982 June 30 The Special Project (secret) accounts of the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) shows that in this financial year the company Theodor D Sterling Ltd received $283,590 under the code number SP#71G. [70]
CTR Special Projects were payments (not all of which actually involved research) given as "grants" by the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) . The difference was because these "grants" did not pass through the normal process of review by the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Instead, CTR Special Projects were selected by the inhouse tobacco lawyers for the tobacco companies, and so bypassed the SAB consideration.

1983 Apr 1 Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data"

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni (sic)]
    Project 94 D -- 1983 -- $60,400

1984 Apr 30 The Special Project (secret) accounts of the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) shows that in this financial year the company Theodor D Sterling Ltd received $324,060 under the code number SP#71H. [72]
CTR Special Projects were only one type of payment to the company and to the individuals. These were only the secret SP# payments that by-passed the SAB.

1983 May 1 to 30 April 1984: Special Project #4 grant "A continuing critical review of major factors in statistical studies in the area of smoking and health"

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 71 I --- 1983 -- $369,600

1983 Jun 17 - 30 Mar 1986 Special Project #4 grant   $ 44,000 ... p60 ... David Sterling ITTRI (Project Chemist)
    SP#130. He also earned for: Passive Smoking - trial of Self-reporting questionnaire for ETS (TOTAL ?) $70,000 [74]

1984 - David Sterling Joined the IIT research Institute as Research Chemist in Chemical Research division      
1984 Apr 30 The Special Project (secret) accounts of the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) shows that in this financial year the company Theodor D Sterling Ltd received $369.680 under the code number SP#71I. [75]

1984 May 1 to 30 April 1985: Special Project #4 grant "A continuing critical review of major factors in statistical studies in the area of smoking and health"

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 71 J --- 1984 -- $282,820

1984 May 1 Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data"

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni.]
    Project 94 E -- 1984 -- $14,067

[Most of these payments were in the $40-$60,000 range. Why the sudden reduction in the use of Simon Fraser's processing unit ?]

1985 David Sterling, Demetrious Moschandreas and HJ O'Neill at IITRI, are proposing to the tobacco lawyers Jacob Mendinger that they do a $70,000 study to produce and administer a questionnaire on sick building syndrome. Moschandreas was a physicist who worked at the University of Cincinnati when Theodor Sterling had been at the university. [78] [79]

1985 Feb Handnotes of a lawyer from Philip Morris attending the CTR Ad Hoc lawyers meeting.

  • Repace --(we should) have A Colicci review
Anthony Colicci was a contract scientist/disinformation expert working for RJ Reynolds.
James Repace was the activist and anti-smoking scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He estimated that there were 3,000 deaths per year from passive smoking, and the tobacco industry worked hard to discredit him and his associate Lowery.
  • Sorrel Schwartz paper. Went over it with John Rupp.-- Finalize with Schwartz
    Will go to General Council of EPA ... Rupp, Schwartz, Chilcote
[Rupp was the lawyer John Rupp from Covington & Burling, Sam Chilcote ran the Tobacco Institute. Sorrell Schwartz was a corrupt professor of pharmacology at Georgetown University, and a life-long tobacco scientist. He ran the IAPAG operation also]

- draft to be ditched

  • Burch is still working on his paper -- coordinated by Carl Selzer
[Carl Seltzer is obviously supervising and coordinating his friend Philip Burch in England in writing an article attacking the Repace claims.]
  • Sterling mde a proposal on Repace -- too broad ?.
Theodor Sterling was proposing a way to attack the conclusions of Repace, but they thought the attack was 'too broad' to succeed. [80]

1985 MarThe ETS Advisory Group records payment of $49,740 to Theodor Sterling and Anothy Arundel (TDS Ltd) for a project Critical Evaluation of ETS Health Risk Models [81]

1985 Apr 30 The Special Project (secret) accounts of the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) shows that in this financial year the company Theodor D Sterling Ltd had received $282,820 under the code number SP#71J. [82]

1985 Apr 1 Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data" [This was not Sterling's personal annual retainer. It was probably intended to be paid through his company to Simon Fraser University for use of their main-frame computer services.] [In June 22 1990 Summary of CTR Special Projects]

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni (sic)]
    Project 94 F -- 1985 -- $44,310

1985 Apr 4 David A Sterling and his associate at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Demetrious J Moschandreas have submitted a proposal for a questionnaire study. This is being circulated by law firm Jacob Medinger to the other law firms and companies. [84]

1985 Apr 10 Bill Kloepfer advises Sam Chilcote at the Tobacco Institute about the availability of witnesses at an upcoming Tax Hearing in Congress:

  1. Don Hoel and Bernie O'Neill are seeking an early meeting to determine whether Theodor Sterling will testify. They also will seek statements for the record from Carl Seltzer and, through Carl, from P.J.R. Burch. These statements and testimony will deal with the morbidity/mortality data. In all cases, Institute consultants will assist in the preparation of statements and testimony.


1985 Jun 17- Feb 28 1986 : Special Project #4 grant "Investigation of self-reporting questionnaire for environmental tobacco smoke"     [In June 22 1990 Summary of CTR Special Projects]
    [This grant was to Theodor's second son, David, who was working at the Illinois Institute, Technical Research Institute (IITRI) with Demetrios Moschandress and possibly Salvadore Dinardi (see grant #136)]

David Sterling
    Project 130 -- 1985 -- $70,000
[?? Study of Architectural ventilation and SBS]]

[86] [87] Also report [88]

[SBS=Sick Building Sickness - this was a concept generated and popularised by tobacco industry touts to raise fears that some buildings were actually sick. The ploy rested on a foundation of (1) fears that some insulation materials were deadly asbestos (2) some insulation materials exuded formaldehyde (3) without high ventilation rates (needed by the tobacco industry to clear out second-hand smoke) some air-conditioning systems could harbour the deadly Legionella virus.
The air-conditioning industry didn't challenge this propaganda since it served their own purposes of updating and maintaining A/C systems.

1985-86 With [[James J Weinkam[[ (a long-term associate from Cincinnatti & Washington Universities -- then with the Computer department of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby) the Sterlings set up the "Building Performance Database"(BPD) on the Simon Fraser mainframe. It held information on 261 buildings on such factors as building materials, energy use, ventilation, lighting, acoustics, indoor air pollution levels, and reported effects on the health and comfort of occupants. This was supposedly an analytical tool for architects designing for IAQ performance of air-conditioning systems. [89]

1986 Feb 18 The Estimated Budget for an unknown research project in the files of Philip Morris requests a total of $532,000. It is planning to use the San Francisco University for computer work, and TDS Ltd (The Sterling's company) for mathematical analysis and epidemiology. The Research Architect ($26,000) is noted as Elia Sterling [90]

1986 May 1 to 30 April 1987: Special Project #4 grant "A continuing critical review of major factors in statistical studies in the area of smoking and health"

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 71 L --- 1986 -- $486,000

1986 May 1 Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data"

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni (sic)]
    Project 94 G -- 1986 -- $44,000

1986 May 28 David Sterling (Research Chemist) has written to Shook Hardy & Bacon, the tobacco industry's Kansas City disinformation program law firm. He has sent them some raw data from an unnamed project on ETS measurements from small office locations with three or four people. David Sterling is working through the Chemistry Research Section of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Research Institute (IITRI) They are quizzing occupants of small offices about t the number of cigarettes smoked in a day by them, and their workmates, odor, etc..[93]

1986 Apr 30 The Special Project (secret) accounts of the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) shows that in this financial year the company Theodor D Sterling Ltd had received $296,961 under the code number SP#71K. [94]

1986 June 23 [Date wrong in document] Tobacco Institute Report (by SH&B lawyer Don Hoel) Sterling on Repace

James L Repace was an anti-smoking scientist who worked for the EPA and was a thorn in the side of the tobacco industry. They were constantly trying to discredit him and his associate Alfred H Lowrey, but they were meticulously scientific in their criticisms.]

Dr Sterling has submitted the paper by Arundel, Irwin, Sterling and Weinkam entitled "New and Non-smoker Lung Cancer Risk from Exposure to Particulate Tobacco Smoke" to the American Journal of Epidemiology.

This paper is a critique of assumptions and calculations made by Repace and Lowrey in their paper entitled "A Quantitative Estimate of Non-Smokers Lung Cancer Risk from Passive Smoking" published in Environment International 1985 The latter paper used a linear extrapolation model and estimated the lung cancer deaths in non-smokers to be 5000 per year in the US..

Considerable concern was expressed that Arundel et al. paper appears to endorse the linear extrapolation model. Don Hoel assured the committee that Sterling does not endorse the linear extrapolation model but feels the paper would be rejected by the reviewers if it doesn't imply acceptance of the model in his initial submission. It is Dr. Sterling's intent to insert qualifying statements in the text after the paper has been accepted for publication.

Sterling and co-workers apparently have a second paper in preparation which would follow this paper and more specifically attempt to point out the inapplicability of the linear response model as well as the phenomenological model.

Considerable discussion followed concerning Sterling and co-worker papers as well as the problem-of getting critical coaments of the Repace and Lowrey papers into the publisned literature. It is known that several critical comments of Repace and Lowrey papers submitted to Environmental International have not been made public simply because the journal is not published on a routine basis. Alternate approaches to get the information into the literature was suggested by members of the committee including submission of the critical comments sent to Environment International to other journals which have quoted the Repace/Lowrey papers.

Several members of the committee expressed concern that the papers by Sterling and co-workers had been submitted without prior review by the committee. Dr. Spears also asked if Sterling intended to notify the National Academy of Sciences that he does not agree with the linear extrapolation model. Don Hoel indicated that "he has no plans." [95]

1987 Mar 5 British statistician for the tobacco industry, Peter N Lee, has been sent on a visit to Theodor Sterling in Vancouver. This is a fascinating account of the visit and the people involved. It is a must-read document.

They were obviously circling each other like two bull-terriers end-to-end, neither sure as to how much of his sensitive areas should be exposed to a potential rival. [96]

1987 May 1 - 31 March 1988: Special Project #4 grant "A continuing critical review of major factors in statistical studies in the area of smoking and health"

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 71 M --- 1987 -- $486,000

1987 May 1 Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data"

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni (sic)]
    Project 94 H -- 1987 -- $44,000

1987 May 18-20 IAQ'87 conference in Washington DC has four papers by the Sterling family

  • "The Effect Of Instituting Smoking Regulations In Office Buildings On Indoor Contaminant Levels" (T.D . Sterling, E.M. Sterling, B . Mueller)
  • "Comparison Between The Use Of Effective And Actual Volumes In The Conversion Of Air Changes Per Hour To Volumetric Data" (E.K. Sterling, E .D . Sterling, S. Relvani, D. Moschandreas, S. Theno, C.W. Collett)
  • "Reducing Radon Levels In Tightly Sealed Residences Through Crawl Space Ventilation" (T.D. Sterling, E .D. McIntyre, E .M. Sterling)
  • "Case Studies Of Ventilation System Retrofits Resolving And Not Resolving Air Quality Problems In Office Buildings" (E .M. Sterling, Christopher W. Collett, B. Mueller, Jack Meredith, T. Blomfield) [99]

1987 May 31-June 5 American Industrial Hygiene Conferernce, in Montreal PQ has three papers by the Sterling family

[100]  Also another by Anthony Arundel

1987 June 21-23 APCA'87 Air Pollution Control Association conference, in New York City has two papers by the Sterling family.[101] Also another by Anthony Arundel

1987 Aug 17-21 Indoor Air '87 conference, in Berlin has five papers by the Sterling family.[102]

1987 Aug 8-13 International Epidemiological Society conference, in Helsinki, Finland has three papers by the Sterling family and another by Anthony Arundel. [103]

1987 Sep 3 Theodor Sterling has written to "Andrew" ( Nelmes of Gallaher in UK) and [[Ray Thornton}"Ray"]] (Thornton of BAT in UK). They have obviously asked him to do some research in the UK along the lines of the pseudo-research he does in the USA. He presents the arguments that can be used to counter claims that ETS is harmful to the health of non-smokers, and suggests

To facilitate such research, it may be reasonable to establish a research center in the UK (or elsewhere) capable of doing work similar to that done by TDS Ltd in Vancouver.
To examine that feasibility, a systematic investigation is needed which would indentify:

  • the types of studies that are possible
  • where these studies might best be done and by whome
  • effective methods (meetings) to disseminate results.
  • What measures of success can reasonably be expected from implementing these activities.
  • [need to] identify sources of additional support (public and private collaborators)

He nominates projects worth doing:

  1. To what extent is there a pattern of smoking related to occupation and social status? (Smoking is more prevalent among individuals exposed to hazards in their workplace or through their lifestyles.
  2. Sick Buildings and smoking (A large number os so-called "sick buildings' have been investigated and cigarette smoking is seldom listed as one of the causes)
  3. Is there sufficient data available from building evaluations that can be combined in an information database? (TDS Ltd has one of two such databases in North America)
  4. What are the needs for centers concentrating on building studies?
  5. Modeling the health effects of ETS (There are a number of approaches to use various sources of data to extrapolate possible risks from ETS to nonsmokers. Rigorous use of such data results in a relatively small risk.
  6. What guiding principles underlie existing or planned workplace smoking restrictions? (Based on a TDS Ltd, study for a Canadian federal agency)
  7. Effective public discussion of building air quality problems. (Choosing the type of organisation that would co-sponsor such discussion - needs to be investigated and identified).

He offers to have TDS Ltd. personnel visit the UK, EEC countries and Australia to plan the above. They will also identify a sick building for study, and organise a conference about building problems. He offers himself, Elia Sterling, Christopher W Collett, Anthony Arundel and Dr Alan Hedge from Cornell University as speakers and propagandists.

They will employ in the Europe and Australia:

  • Prof John S Clifton, Head of Dept of Medical Physics at University College Hospital, London
  • Dr Timo Partanen, Head of Inst. of Occupational Health, Helsinki Finland (an old collaborator of the Sterlings)
  • The Hulbert Group, architects in Australia
  • Milton Meckler, a ventilation engineer and long-term tobacco helper, with experience in Australia

Sterling wants $397,000 for these three inter-related projects [104] [105]

1987 Oct 29 Theodor Sterling and his company TDS Ltd have proposed to the UK Tobacco Action Committee (TAC) a feasibility study in the UK on Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Sick Building Syndrome. [106]

On behalf of the UK Tobacco Research Council Ray Thornton, the Senior VP of Issues Management at British-American Tobacco, has flown to Vancouver BC, to spend time with Theordor Sterling discussing the project. (See last page) [107]

1988 Apr 1 Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data"

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni (sic)]
    Project 94 I -- 1988 -- $52,800

1988 Apr 30 The Special Project (secret) accounts of the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) shows that in this financial year the company Theodor D Sterling Ltd received $972,000 under the code numbers SP#71L&M [109]
A cumulative list of six Special Projects (since July 1981) shows that Theodor D Sterling Limited was paid $2,549,111 for these secret project from the tobacco industry's CTR from 7/1/82 to 4/30/88. They had also manged to get other funding from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Firemans's Fund Insurance, Lawrence Berkley Labs, NYC Health Dept, NIOSH and the Quebec Province consumer protection agency. [110]


1988 Mar 31 Another Special Project (secret) accounts of the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) shows that in this financial year (from April 1 1988) the company Theodor D Sterling Ltd received $560,440 under the code numbers SP#71N [111]

1988 June 24 Alan Hedge, Assoc Prof, Department Design & Environmental at Cornell Uni, proposed to the [[Center for Indoor Air Research[[ (CIAR) a study into "The Effects of Smoking Regulation and Building Ventilation on IAQ and Employee Comfort and Health in Offices." He wanted a grant of $195,498.

A footnote shows that "lndustrial hygiene, architectural and ventilation engineering services will be supplied by TDS Ltd ., Vancouver, BC, Canada." [Hedge and the Sterlings worked on many projects together over the years.] [

1988 Jul 18 "Confounding Occupation and Smoking: To what extend does working kill smokers ?" by Theodore Sterling and J Weinkam. The draft copy was sent to RJ Reynolds Tobacco. Sterling's pseudo-thesis is that workers smoke more when they are engaged in chemically-hazardous occupations -- therefore any increased levels of cancer are due to the job, not to the smoking.

ABSTRACT: The major studies of the association between smoking and disease consistently neglected to ascertain occupations of smokers. Consequently they have failed to control for the pattern in smoking behavior by which smoking is much more prevalent among those occupational groups that are more exposed to hazards in the workplace and much less prevalent among those groups less exposed to such hazards. Analysis of available data appears to show that the strong relationships between types of employment and smoking has masked relationships between type of employment and disease.

The basis for their claim was a previous study they had done which "listed occuptions by decreasing prevalence of current smoking" which showed that certain occupations (roofers, slaters, bartenderrs, painters, construction/maintenance workers, cleaners, and sheet metalworkers) had high smoking rates. Clergymen, teachers, etc. had low rates. And on this basis, they conclude that

  • There is both an occupational and a class differences between smokers and nonsmokers -- and also between workers and the epidemiologists who study these diseases (ie the epidemiologists are biased).
  • The middle-classes blame the blue-collar victims for causing their diseases by smoking.
  • Many scientists are prohibitionists at heart.
    It is likely therefore that these psychological, social and cultural factors have combined into a singled minded review of the evidence related to smoking and health. And there is nothing to counteract the consequences of such restricted vision. After all, smoking has no visible redeeming qualities.

[There are no acknowledgements of any tobacco funding.]

1988 Dec 6-7 Members of the Sterling family were at the closed conference run by Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and the Kansas City lawyers Shook Hardy & Bacon in Bariloche, Argentina. It was supposedly sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences in Buenos Aires, but it was in fact totally controlled by the tobacco companies. The proceedings were published in English and Spanish and distributed by Shook Hardy & Bacon to a list of predetermined organisations they wanted to influence. [[113]

1989 Feb 19-24 International Symposium on Inhalation Toxicology
(This symposium was actually run by the ILSI.) Tobacco industry lackey, Peter N Lee was in charge of preparing the proceedings, which can only mean that the tobacco industry funded the conference. Leo Zahn and Hilda Zahn reported on the conference, which had both pro and anti-smoking speakers.

  • Peter Lee repeated a speech from the recently at a Brussels IAQ meeting re; which anti-smoking research wasn't reliable. He maintained that
* Smokers also drank more than normal (which led to confounded research findings)
* There were susceptible subgroups (leading to constitutional differences)
* Non-smokers often claimed to be smokers & vice versa (leading to misclassification).
* Also spoke on the basis of Plausibility, Dose related-resonse, and Non-reporting bias.
  • Francis Roe made a speech attacking anti-smoking science. Animal studies are a problem when extrapolated to humans.
  • David Bates, Uni of British Columbia said there's no doubt that smoking results in smaller fetus.
  • Johnathan Samet of Uni of New Mexico, said ETS creates lower respiratory tract infections in children
  • Goran Pershagen, of the Karolinska Institute said that "more than 20 ETS studies in six different countries included over 2000 lung cancer cases have been published -- and they show a statistically significant increase in lung cancer risk in non-smokers wed to smokers." Heavy smokers make the link worse. "All the data indicated that ETS is of 'carcinogenic importance'."
  • Ernest Wynder of the American Health Fund (AHF) was critical of Pershagen. He said the preponderant type of lung cancer in non-smokers was adenocarcinoma, not the squamous cell type claimed by Pershagen. Wynder was focussing on diet.
  • Chris Proctor of BAT said that ETS is highly complex - he showed that some of the constituents of ETS were also found in non-smoking areas.
  • Nathan Mantel of American Uni in Washington "again rambled profusely in talking about "The Passive Smoking Myth" (He had also spoken recently in Brussels) He said the crackpots had taken over the US research.
  • Manfred Fischer of Berlin Health Office talked about Radon
  • John M Faccini, Uni of Surrey said pathologists aren't distinguishing between primary and secondary lung cancer. It was an attack on Hirayama and Trichopoulos.
  • Roger McLellan of the CIIT said Diesel Engine Exhaust is probably carcinogenic. [Others spoke on Diesel also]
  • Theodor Sterling had a theory that smokers gain a small degree of protection from smoking
  • Klaus Brunnermann of the American Health Fund had a paper on gas chromatography
  • Genevieve Matanoski of Johns Hopkins Uni - study of rubber workers
  • Victor Feron of TNO reported that cigarette smokers get lots of formaldehyde in their larynxes when they inhale - average of 50 ppm, but up to 150 ppm. It is rapidly metabolized in the body. It may not be carcinogenic. [114] <font color=green?
TNO is the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research. If had some good scientists and some tobacco lackies.
Ernest Wynder's AHF -- while anti-smoking -- had come to depend on cigarette company grants, and tended to be lack-luster antagonists to the industry.

1989 Apr 1 Special Project #4 grant "A continuing critical review of major factors in statistical studies in the area of smoking and health" [In the June 22 1990 Summary of CTR Special Projects]

Theodor D Sterling
    Project 71 O --- 1989 -- $560,440

1989 Apr 1 Special Project #4 grant "On Computer Analysis of Health Related Data"

Theodor D Sterling [Simon Frazier Uni (sic)]
    Project 94 J -- 1989 -- $52,800

[Same as the previous year -- must be a fixed retainer.]

1989 Sep 29 Elia Sterling's consulting fees or $5000. On Shook Hardy & Bacon (lawyers) A/C Medical Witness Maintainance and Development program p 49 (also B&W accounts from SHB 680706292) See [117]


1992 Jan The Philip Morris list of 'independent experts' who the Tobacco Institute had working on blocking potential smoking bans -- and the areas of science they have been scheduled to cover. The names were: Larry Holcomb, Mark Reasor, Paul Switzer, Maurice LeVois, Joseph Wu, Philip Witorsch, Milton Meckler, Theodore Sterling, Gray Robertson and HBI, Robert Tollison, and a company named Accurex. [119]

1992 May 14 Theodor Sterling and David Sterling and their associate Arvin Glicksman, the Radiation Oncologist from the Medical Sciences Department at Brown University (Rhode Island) are proposing a tobacco-funded project investigating the risks associated with passive smoking by family members in the home. David Sterling is now Assistant Professor, Environmental Health Program, College of Health Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia.

They have a different hypothesis that they want to investigate -- associated with the socio/economic status of households-- which makes the non-smoking members of the family more exposed to carcinogens from many sources. Glicksman and David Sterling have been doing a preliminary analysis of possible studies between the years 1989 and 1991. They did a feasibility study at Roger Williams General Hospital and a population survey with a (unspecified) grant from British American Tobacco (presumably finished in 1991.

This new study rests on the confounding observations: a) lower-class blue-collar workers have non-smoking wives b) the blue-collar workers bring more toxic materials into the home on their clothes. c) Home-makers generally have elevated lung-cancer rates. d) The wives of non-smokers appear to have a healthier lifestyle. [120]

1992 Dec 31 Report on The Council for Tobacco Research: Log - Special Projects, which were paid via Special Account #4 No: 130 Is listed with investigator David Sterling at ITT Research Institute , Note: this also lists John Salvaggio and Richard P Stankus

[Salvaggio and Stankus had run a number of major tobacco project at Tulane University Medical School, New Orleans. One three year study for $168,117.
No: 131 is listed as investigator Samuel B Lehrer, Tulane University. He was the third investigator with Salvaggio and Stankus. We can assume that the typing has mixed this up and that Sterling along is grant 130 an Salvagiio, Stankus and Lehrer were 131.]

1994 June 15 SPRUNG: Sterling had been interviewed by Richard Harris of National Public Radio who had documents showing that Sterling had been funded by CTR Special Project via Shook Hardy & Bacon -- however the CTR's annual record did not show any funding. Harris had also phoned Patrick Sirridge at SH&B and was intending to run a report that night. SH&B decided not to cooperate. [122]

1997 Feb/E Anthony Andrade VP World Wide Regulatory Affairs, Philip Morris (ex Shook Hardy & Bacon) was giving evidence on behalf of the tobacco industry at an OSHA hearing in 1981 into the passive smoking problem and the OSHA attempts to establish a rule to eliminate ETS from the non-smoker's environment. The industry claimed "that ETS is associated with complaints in only 2-5% of all investigations." and that the major database on sick-building syndrome clearly indicates that tobacco smoke is rarely the underlying cause of complaints.
The submission quotes

  • Theodor D Sterling & Associates (TDSA Ltd.) as saying the correlation between symptoms and causative agents is weak, because there are many contaminants originating from both indoor and outdoor sources. They say that their "Building Performance Database" has data from over 200 sick-building investigations, and they can't identify any single likely cause. Smoking was implicated as a major contributor to complaints in only 12 of 408 (less than 3%) of buildings surveyed. They conclude:

    "Removing the smoker entirely, then, would not affect health and comfort problems in 95 to 98 percent of sick buildings."

  • The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) as claiming that in most IAQ complaints, the symptoms are non-specific and could be caused by a variety of factors. It reports that

"psychosocial and physical stresses are certainly potential causes of some IAQ complaints and should always be considered in any investigation."

  • In the Healthy Buildings International (HBI) database of 412 sick-buildings, ETS was reported to be a significant contributor in only 3% of all buildings investigated.
  • Professor Alan Hedge of Columbia University has studied 4,479 office workers from 27 air-conditioned offices and couldn't find any correlation between complaints and the levels of ETS constituents in the indoor air. Hedge reported tat

    "… although ventilation has an important effect on IAQ, reports from workers in 46 office buildings in the UK indicate that complaints are even more strongly influenced by a number of personal and occupational factors such as gender, job stress, job satisfaction and computer use."

  • The National Energy Management Institute (NEMI) said that their experience …

    …revealed that there is a variety of factors which can interact to cause a worker to display indoor environmental health-related problems. These factors may actually be the primary cause, or may exacerbate an IAQ problem condition.

They say support for the new ASHRAE standard also comes from: National Environmental Development Association's Total Indoor Environmental Quality Coalition (NEDA/TIEQ), ENV Services, Inc; Healthy Buildings International (HBI); Systems Applications International (SAI); Meckler Engineers Group and Gershon Meckler Associates; Theodor D. Sterling &Associates (TDSA), Business Council on Indoor Air (BCIA) Dow Chemical Company, the tobacco companies, unions, contracting associations (and possibly one not paid by the tobacco or chemical industries.) [123] See also [124]

1998 Aug 11 The Working Draft (Confidential) of a lawyer's list of tobacco industry helpers -- under the title: Expert / Consultant Submissions Regarding ETS to Regulatory Agencies on Behalf of Philip Morris Elia M Sterling, [[Chris Collett] and JA Ross of Theodor Sterling Associates are among the hundreds listed as having given evidence at the OSHA Rule Making public hearing. [125]

2014 Theodor Sterling Associates web site:

Theodor Sterling Associates Ltd (TSA) is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm providing indoor air quality, environmental and occupational hygiene/safety consulting services for clients throughout North America for more than 30 years.

The extensive experience of TSA related to indoor air quality has enabled the development of a comprehensive proprietary Proactive IAQ Management Program and related IAQ services. The TSA Proactive IAQ Management Program is designed to build on and be integrated with the existing O&M programs in the buildings managed by our clients.

Theodor Sterling Associates Ltd. is recognized as an industry leader in the field of Indoor Air Quality. Our IAQ management team’s experience with indoor air quality audits is unparalleled. Members of our team are recognized as leaders in the field of indoor air quality and are regularly called upon to speak at building industry and engineering events and to advise on standards, regulations, and building code development. Our TSA team provides clients access to the worlds leading experts/scientists on indoor environments. Our services provide the real estate industry with cost effective verifiable problem detection combined with clear comprehensible consulting advise, enabling building owners, managers and operators to make decisions and implement programs related to IAQ performance of facilities for which they are responsible.

In the summer of 2001, significant changes were made to Theodor Sterling Associates to permit us to provide occupational hygiene and safety consulting services. These additional team members brought the ability to handle all your occupational hygiene and safety needs to the table but also complement the existing structure of TSA via their experience with indoor air quality and mould consulting. [126]