221999 Assessing and addressing cumulative Impacts in communities: Approaches and lessons learned

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Amy D. Kyle, PhD MPH , School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Rachel A. Morello-Frosch, PhD, MPH , School of Public Health & Dept of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Michael Jerrett, PhD , University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Bill Jesdale, PhD , Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Jason Su, PhD , School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Beth Altshuler, MPH, MCP , Public Health Planning, Raimi + Associates, Berkeley, CA
Miriam Zuk , Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Tina Yuen , School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Methods are needed to better address the environment that people experience in their communities. Predominant approaches focus on assessing and managing contaminants one at a time. However, significant inequalities result from the combined burden from multiple sources of contaminants in some communities. The term “cumulative impacts” refers to consideration of the combinations of multiple contaminants. It also refers to consideration of susceptibility and vulnerability of populations and the interaction of environmental factors with other health determinants. In its focus on reducing inequalities and in its integration of social determinants of health with environmental determinants of health, this framing of cumulative impacts promotes social justice. The impetus for taking action to reduce cumulative impacts has come from the environmental justice movement and is just beginning to receive attention in the science policy sector. This presentation describes the lines of scientific evidence supporting the need to address cumulative impacts; describes key elements of screening, community-initiated, and context-driven assessments; and discusses opportunities to address cumulative impacts in decisions that involve allocation of resources as well as in permitting and regulatory approaches, pointing out key challenges raised by the framing of cumulative impacts to the currently predominant paradigm for environmental health. The presentation concludes with a summary of lessons leaned in a recent project to develop such approaches in the State of California.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to define "cumulative impacts" and identify two reasons why addressing cumulative impacts is important to achieving social justice. Participants will be able to identify three types of assessments. Participants will be able to identify two opportunities for redressing cumulative impacts through government actions.

Keywords: Environmental Health, Environmental Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am on the faculty at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley and served as the Principal Investigator for the work discussed.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.