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Special Issue "Environmental Legislation and Public Health"

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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2010)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Wendy E. Wagner (Website)

The University of Texas School of Law, 727 East Dean Keeton Street, Austin, Texas 78705, USA; Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 11075 East Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
Interests: the use of science in environmental and health policy; the role of special interests in producing or influencing research used for regulation; the expression of limitations and uncertainty in policy-relevant research; disclosures of conflicts of interest and data-sharing in applied research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Scientists continue to discover disturbing connections between environmental toxicants and public health impacts. Legislation, however, often lags far behind these scientific discoveries and too often takes an incomplete approach to the problems.

In this Special Issue, contributors are encouraged to identify environmental health problems insufficiently addressed by current international, national, and/or local legislation. Environmental health risks include air and water pollution, pesticides, indoor air hazards, land contamination, consumer products including food, and drinking water contamination.

Contributors are also encouraged to discuss some of the more significant impediments to developing effective environmental legislation for these and related risks. Some of the impediments could include:

  • the difficulties in focusing public attention and legislators on uncertain risks that affect the diffuse public
  • the absence of advocates for legislation that addresses environmental threats that primarily impact the poor
  • corrupt or unaccountable legislators
  • the role of special interests (i.e., lead, asbestos, tobacco) in undermining the rigor and reliability of the science used for policy
  • difficulties associated with adequately accounting for uncertainty and dynamism in science in developing legal requirements
  • insufficient support of public health research (i.e., on nanotechnology)

Finally, contributors are encouraged to offer suggestions for how some of these challenges to public health legislation might be overcome in the future.

Prof. Dr. Wendy E. Wagner
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • regulation
  • science
  • adaptive management
  • conflicts of interest
  • environmental justice
  • uncertainty
  • environmental risks
  • public health

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Model-Based Prioritisation Exercise for the European Water Framework Directive
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(2), 435-455; doi:10.3390/ijerph8020435
Received: 1 December 2010 / Revised: 22 December 2010 / Accepted: 24 January 2011 / Published: 1 February 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (296 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A model-based prioritisation exercise has been carried out for the Water Framework Directive (WFD) implementation. The approach considers two aspects: the hazard of a certain chemical and its exposure levels, and focuses on aquatic ecosystems, but also takes into account hazards due [...] Read more.
A model-based prioritisation exercise has been carried out for the Water Framework Directive (WFD) implementation. The approach considers two aspects: the hazard of a certain chemical and its exposure levels, and focuses on aquatic ecosystems, but also takes into account hazards due to secondary poisoning, bioaccumulation through the food chain and potential human health effects. A list provided by EU Member States, Stakeholders and Non-Governmental Organizations comprising 2,034 substances was evaluated according to hazard and exposure criteria. Then 78 substances classified as “of high concern” where analysed and ranked in terms of risk ratio (Predicted Environmental Concentration/Predicted No-Effect Concentration). This exercise has been complemented by a monitoring-based prioritization exercise using data provided by Member States. The proposed approach constitutes the first step in setting the basis for an open modular screening tool that could be used for the next prioritization exercises foreseen by the WFD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Legislation and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Neighborhood Environment and Self-Rated Health among Adults in Southern Sri Lanka
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(8), 2102-2112; doi:10.3390/ijerph6082102
Received: 11 July 2009 / Accepted: 23 July 2009 / Published: 29 July 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (162 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The prevalenceof different neighborhood environmental stressors and associations between the stressors and self-rated health are described in a representative sample of 2,077 individuals, aged 18-85 years, in southern Sri Lanka. Mosquito menace (69.4%), stray dog problems (26.8%), nuisance from neighbors (20.3%), and [...] Read more.
The prevalenceof different neighborhood environmental stressors and associations between the stressors and self-rated health are described in a representative sample of 2,077 individuals, aged 18-85 years, in southern Sri Lanka. Mosquito menace (69.4%), stray dog problems (26.8%), nuisance from neighbors (20.3%), and nuisance from drug users (18.7%) were found to be the most prevalent environmental stressors. None of the stressors investigated were associated with self-rated physical health, but nuisance from neighbors, nuisance from drug users, shortage of water and having poor water/ sewage drainage system were associated with self-rated mental health among the respondents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Legislation and Public Health)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Current Status and Regulatory Aspects of Pesticides Considered to be Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(10), 3615-3627; doi:10.3390/ijerph7103615
Received: 17 August 2010 / Revised: 2 September 2010 / Accepted: 10 September 2010 / Published: 12 October 2010
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are capable of persisting in the environment, transporting between phase media and accumulating to high levels, implying that they could pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment. Consequently, most OCPs are designated as [...] Read more.
Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are capable of persisting in the environment, transporting between phase media and accumulating to high levels, implying that they could pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment. Consequently, most OCPs are designated as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and even as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The objective of this paper was to review the current status of pesticide POPs in Taiwan, including aldrin, chlordane, chlordecone, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, α/β-hexachlorocyclohexanes, lindane, mirex, pentachloro-benzene, and toxaphene. The information about their environmental properties, banned use, carcinogenic toxicity and environmental levels, can be connected with the regulatory infrastructure, which has been established by the joint-venture of the central competent authorities (i.e., Environmental Protection Administration, Department of Health, Council of Agriculture, and Council of Labor Affairs). The significant progress to be reported is that the residual levels of these pesticide-POPs, ranging from trace amounts to a few ppb, have declined notably in recent years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Legislation and Public Health)

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