Session: Environmental Health and Policy: Precautionary Principle in action -- Strategies that protect public health
4130.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003: 12:30 PM-2:00 PM
Environmental Health and Policy: Precautionary Principle in action -- Strategies that protect public health
The precautionary principle states that when there are credible threats of harm, policy decisions should be guided by precautionary measures, even in the face of scientific uncertainty. Recent years have seen a growing interest in understanding and using this principle to guide public policy decisions -- especially with regard to public health and the environment. Regarding credible threats of harm, the precautionary principle shifts the burden of proof from the shoulders of our local communities to the actors (or perpetrators) of a given activity. But how do we use this principle to move from a theoretical belief to a concrete set of activities and policies? How are municipalities, scientific researchers, and public health advocacy groups putting the precautionary principle into practice? This session will examine the precautionary principle, providing a thorough overview of the principle itself, and describe three examples of the precautionary principle at work. Specifically, speakers will address how they are incorporating the precautionary principle into public health research and planning, municipal codes designed to protect human health and the environment, new approaches to eliminating toxic waste, and a variety of other arenas.
Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to 1. Describe the essential elements of the precautionary principle. 2. State several formulations of precautionary principle and criticisms there of. 3. Describe how a city's precautionary principle with regard to procurement of commodities can help to protect public health. 4. Describe the relationship between the precautionary principle and a Zero Waste approach.
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organizer(s):Polly Hoppin, ScD
Susan West Marmagas, MPH
Moderator(s):Robert E. Ginsburg, PhD
12:30 PMIntroductory Remarks
12:35 PMAn Overview of the Precautionary Principle
Ted Schettler, MD, MPH
12:55 PMThoughts on the so called “Precautionary Principle” and arguments for applying transparent democratic foresight strategies and the "Sufficient Certainty Principle" when faced with uncertain threats
Raymond Richard Neutra, MD DrPH
1:15 PMPrecautionary principle: From theory to reality
Jared Blumenfeld
1:35 PMImplementing the Precautionary Principle through Zero Waste Initiatives
Ann Leonard
1:55 PMDiscussion
Organized by:Environment
Endorsed by:Medical Care
CE Credits:CME, Environmental Health, Health Education (CHES), Nursing, Pharmacy

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA