Avgust Letavet

Letavet, Avgust Andreevich


Born Feb. 6 (18), 1893, in Sienuli, in present-day Madona Raion, Latvian SSR. Soviet hygienist. Academician of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR (1950).

Letavet graduated from the department of medicine of Moscow University in 1917. From 1948 to 1971 he was director of the Scientific Research Institute of Labor Hygiene and Occupational Diseases and at the same time (1931–55) served as chairman of the subdepartment of industrial hygiene at the Central Institute for the Advanced Training of Physicians. His main work is concerned with problems in general and specific labor hygiene, industrial microclimate, prevention of silicosis, and industrial toxicology. He helped prepare the first Soviet legislation on occupational hygiene for industrial workers. Letavet guided research on the mechanism of action and clinical aspects of radiation injury. He was vice-president of the International Organization for Occupational Medicine (1961).

Letavet has been awarded the title of Honored Master of Sports of the USSR in mountain climbing (1946), and a peak in the Tien-Shan is named after him. He is an honorary member of the J. Purkynĕ Czechoslovak Medical Society. Letavet received the State Prize of the USSR in 1949 and the Lenin Prize in 1963 and has been awarded three Orders of Lenin, four other orders, and various medals.