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2016 Conference

Abstract Number: ETH-10 | ID: 4819

Health Impact Assessment of Air Pollution and Environmental Exposure

Raymond Neutra*, California Department of Health, , ;
How do we best package the results from a body of epidemiological evidence so that those who participate in the formation of environmental health policy have unbiased information in a form that they can use? For example which stakeholders will be swayed by estimates of DALYs associated with different transportation policies in Barcelona? We are learning more and more about the ways our brains process information. These ways were selected for during the hundreds of thousands of years over which we evolved on the plains of Africa. These ancient ways give more weight to individual anecdotes than statistics. What implications does this have in summarizing such findings in the policy arena? Much more recently we tried to find rational order to make sense of our moral instincts. Some want to strike a balance between moral duties regardless of cost with great attention to environmental justice(duty ethics). Others want to seek the good of the majority in a cost effective way(utilitarian ethics). When we discover that different sources of air pollution strike disadvantaged sectors in the United States, which stakeholders will find this fact compelling for action and which stakeholders will not? As epidemiologists we are challenged to truthfully offer information in the way that it can be absorbed by those who influence and make policy. The presentations in this session will be drawn upon to illustrate these ideas.