Workshop summary: connecting social and environmental factors to measure and track environmental health disparities.
ABSTRACT On May 24-25, 2005 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the University of Michigan sponsored a technical workshop on the topic of connecting social and environmental factors to measure and track environmental health disparities. The workshop was designed to develop a transdisciplinary scientific foundation for exploring the conceptual issues, data needs, and policy applications associated with social and environmental factors used to measure and track racial, ethnic, and class disparities in environmental health. Papers, presentations, and discussions focused on the use of multilevel analysis to study environmental health disparities, the development of an organizing framework for evaluating health disparities, the development of indicators, and the generation of community-based participatory approaches for indicator development and use. Group exercises were conducted to identify preliminary lists of priority health outcomes and potential indicators and to discuss policy implications and next steps. Three critical issues that stem from the workshop were: (a) stronger funding support is needed for community-based participatory research in environmental health disparities, (b) race/ethnicity and socioeconomic position need to be included in environmental health surveillance and research, and (c) models to elucidate the interrelations between social, physical, and built environments should continue to be developed and empirically tested.
Article: Cumulative risk assessment: an overview of methodological approaches for evaluating combined health effects from exposure to multiple environmental stressors.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Systematic evaluation of cumulative health risks from the combined effects of multiple environmental stressors is becoming a vital component of risk-based decisions aimed at protecting human populations and communities. This article briefly examines the historical development of cumulative risk assessment as an analytical tool, and discusses current approaches for evaluating cumulative health effects from exposure to both chemical mixtures and combinations of chemical and nonchemical stressors. A comparison of stressor-based and effects-based assessment methods is presented, and the potential value of focusing on viable risk management options to limit the scope of cumulative evaluations is discussed. The ultimate goal of cumulative risk assessment is to provide answers to decision-relevant questions based on organized scientific analysis; even if the answers, at least for the time being, are inexact and uncertain.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 02/2012; 9(2):370-90. · 1.61 Impact Factor
Dataset: Sustainability, Health and Environmental Metrics: Impact on Ranking and Associations with Socioeconomic Measures for 50 U.S. Cities[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: L.J); email@example.com (J.I.); firstname.lastname@example.org (E.H.); email@example.com (A.H.W.); firstname.lastname@example.org (D.L.); email@example.com (T.W.) Abstract: Waste and materials management, land use planning, transportation and infrastructure including water and energy can have indirect or direct beneficial impacts on the environment and public health. The potential for impact, however, is rarely viewed in an integrated fashion. To facilitate such an integrated view in support of community-based policy decision making, we catalogued and evaluated associations between common, publically available, Environmental (e), Health (h), and Sustainability (s) metrics and sociodemographic measurements (n = 10) for 50 populous U.S. cities. E, H, S indices combined from two sources were derived from component (e) (h) (s) metrics for each city. A composite EHS Index was derived to reflect the integration across the E, H, and S indices. Rank order of high performing cities was highly dependent on the E, H and S indices considered. When viewed together with sociodemographic measurements, our analyses further the understanding of the interplay between these broad categories and reveal significant sociodemographic disparities (e.g., race, education, income) associated OPEN ACCESS Sustainability 2013, 5 790 with low performing cities. Our analyses demonstrate how publically available environmental, health, sustainability and socioeconomic data sets can be used to better understand interconnections between these diverse domains for more holistic community assessments.
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ABSTRACT: There is strong presumptive evidence that people living in poverty and certain racial and ethnic groups bear a disproportionate burden of environmental health risk. Many have argued that conducting formal assessments of the health risk experienced by affected communities is both unnecessary and counterproductive-that instead of analyzing the situation our efforts should be devoted to fixing obvious problems and rectifying observable wrongs. We contend that formal assessment of cumulative health risks from combined effects of chemical and nonchemical stressors is a valuable tool to aid decision makers in choosing risk management options that are effective, efficient, and equitable. If used properly, cumulative risk assessment need not impair decision makers' discretion, nor should it be used as an excuse for doing nothing in the face of evident harm. Good policy decisions require more than good intentions; they necessitate analysis of risk-related information along with careful consideration of economic issues, ethical and moral principles, legal precedents, political realities, cultural beliefs, societal values, and bureaucratic impediments. Cumulative risk assessment can provide a systematic and impartial means for informing policy decisions about environmental justice.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11/2010; 7(11):4037-49. · 1.61 Impact Factor