222538 Reducing disproportionate health impacts through federal decision-making processes

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 11:30 AM - 11:40 AM

Devon Payne-Sturges, DrPH , ORD/National Center for Environmental Research, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, DC
The US EPA has identified the following factors as contributing to an increased risk of disproportionate environmental health burdens in communities of color and low-income communities: 1. Proximity to environmental hazards, 2. Susceptibility/vulnerability, 3. Unique exposure pathways, 4. Multiple and cumulative environmental burdens, 5. Community capacity to participate in the decision making process, 6. Physical infrastructure, and 7. Chronic exposure to stress and the implications for health outcomes related to exposure to environmental hazards. In March 2010, US EPA convened a symposium where researchers, government officials, and community activists convened to assess the scientific research available about the risk factors and opportunities for using such research to guide policy development. Several papers are being developed to summarize the state of the science, the impact of the symposium, and next steps for action. One of the next steps was a dialogue in June that brought representatives of the different symposium stakeholders together to discuss how to more effectively exchange information about research needs and advances related to the science on the factors contributing to disproportionate impacts and the actions needed to integrate environmental justice concerns in EPA regulatory decision making. EPA risk assessment practice and research activities will need to consider traditional chemical risk factors in conjunction with social contextual factors in a more holistic and cumulative approach and identify outliers in exposure that require special attention in order to elimination environmental health disparities. Recommendations from the Action Agenda on research needs, policy, capacity building and practice will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss multiple factors contributing to disproportionate environmental health impacts 2) Identify options for addressing such factors through federal decision-making 3) Describe short- and long-term actions to prioritize and implement options

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Federal Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was one of the coordinators for the Disproportionate Impact Symposium for the US EPA
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.