Addressing Public Health and Chemical Exposures:
An Action Agenda
We all expect to be kept safe from harmful chemical exposures. As part of their mission to protect public health, from 2009 to 2011 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) supported a public engagement initiative entitled the National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures. WE ACT for Environmental Justice was part of that initiative, and we are pleased to be able to share with you the results of our collective efforts.
The goal of the initiative was to develop an Action Agenda with clear, achievable recommendations to help government agencies and other organizations strengthen their efforts to protect the public from harmful chemical exposures. CDC and ATSDR engaged a broad range of groups and individuals - government agencies, professional organizations, tribal groups, community and nonprofit organizations, health professionals, business and industry leaders, and members of the public - to develop the Action Agenda.
People in the United States encounter thousands of different chemicals in their daily lives and have questions about chemicals and health that cannot be answered adequately today. Addressing Public Health and Chemical Exposures: An Action Agenda presents recommendations that can help government agencies and other organizations strengthen their efforts to protect the public from harmful chemical exposures.
Action Agenda recommendations seek to further the following public health goals:
- Protect public health by preventing harmful chemical exposures
- Collect and use information on chemicals and population health to enable effective public health protection
- Achieve a more complete scientific understanding of chemicals and their health effects
- Promote health and wellness in vulnerable communities affected by environmental chemical exposures
- Strengthen the public's ability to participate effectively in environmental health decision-making
- Strengthen the capacity of the public health and health provider work force to address the needs of people exposed to harm from chemicals
- Reduce harm from chemical emergencies through prevention, planning, and coordination