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Motivators and Barriers to Incorporating Climate Change-Related Health Risks in Environmental Health Impact Assessment
School of Public Health and Social Work, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059, Australia
School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia
School of Environment, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, QLD 4111, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 January 2013; in revised form: 11 March 2013 / Accepted: 19 March 2013 / Published: 22 March 2013
Abstract: Climate change presents risks to health that must be addressed by both decision-makers and public health researchers. Within the application of Environmental Health Impact Assessment (EHIA), there have been few attempts to incorporate climate change-related health risks as an input to the framework. This study used a focus group design to examine the perceptions of government, industry and academic specialists about the suitability of assessing the health consequences of climate change within an EHIA framework. Practitioners expressed concern over a number of factors relating to the current EHIA methodology and the inclusion of climate change-related health risks. These concerns related to the broad scope of issues that would need to be considered, problems with identifying appropriate health indicators, the lack of relevant qualitative information that is currently incorporated in assessment and persistent issues surrounding stakeholder participation. It was suggested that improvements are needed in data collection processes, particularly in terms of adequate communication between environmental and health practitioners. Concerns were raised surrounding data privacy and usage, and how these could impact on the assessment process. These findings may provide guidance for government and industry bodies to improve the assessment of climate change-related health risks.
Keywords: environmental health impact assessment; climate change; public policy; data linkage; health indicators; focus group
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Turner, L.R.; Alderman, K.; Connell, D.; Tong, S. Motivators and Barriers to Incorporating Climate Change-Related Health Risks in Environmental Health Impact Assessment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 1139-1151.
Turner LR, Alderman K, Connell D, Tong S. Motivators and Barriers to Incorporating Climate Change-Related Health Risks in Environmental Health Impact Assessment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(3):1139-1151.
Turner, Lyle R.; Alderman, Katarzyna; Connell, Des; Tong, Shilu. 2013. "Motivators and Barriers to Incorporating Climate Change-Related Health Risks in Environmental Health Impact Assessment." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 3: 1139-1151.