Online Program

Why should a local epidemiologist care about a global ban on asbestos?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

Elquemedo Oscar Alleyne, DrPH MPH, Epidemiology and Public Health Planning, Rockland County Department of Health, Pomona, NY
One might question why a local epidemiologist should be concerned or involved in the development of an international policy statement on asbestos. It is often said that all health is local; this is clearly typified in the 141st APHA Annual Meeting theme of "Think Global, Act Local." Local epidemiologists find themselves on the ground floor of analyzing and integrating scientific data into public health practice whether for the purposes of community presentations, health data profiles or community health impact assessments.

The responsibility of protecting community health through evidence-based practice (and practice-based evidence) no longer stops at our local borders. Our global interconnectedness, human travel and migration patterns tell a story of a shared health burden. The desire to build health equity from an individual and systems based approach is a vital component of the blueprint for local community action to improve health. These public health and safety objectives include a focus on the quality of our physical environment. If we are locally responsible for reducing the health risks associated with communicable and chronic diseases, then we are equally responsible for reducing the global exposure of harmful toxic substances that contribute to the environmental and occupational health risk of our world population.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role of the local epidemiologist in the asbestos debate. Evaluate the relationship between local, national, and global health policy regarding asbestos from the standpoint of a local public health practitioner. Define the responsibilities of a local public health practitioner regarding the global issue of asbestos.

Keyword(s): Local Public Health Agencies, Primary Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently serving on the Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology (JPC-SE).
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.