Ethics of Environmental Health: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ethics of Environmental Health

1st Edition

Edited by Friedo Zölzer, Gaston Meskens


182 pages

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Environmental health encompasses the assessment and control of those environmental factors that can potentially affect human health, such as radiation, toxic chemicals and other hazardous agents. It is often assumed that the assessment part is just a matter of scientific research, and the control part a matter of implementing standards which unambiguously follow from that research. But it is less commonly understood that environmental health also requires addressing questions of an ethical nature.

How can we determine the "acceptable" risk level for the general population or for certain groups? How should we deal with uneven distributions of risks and benefits? How do we communicate about risks with the stakeholders? This multidisciplinary collection brings together a number of leading researchers and scholars in order to generate discussion surrounding these key questions, and to bring the ethical implications of science and technology to the forefront of critical thought.

Providing a broad overview of the Ethics of Environmental Health, its philosophical foundations and practical applications, this book offers a significant contribution to ongoing discussions in sustainable development and will be of interest to scholars and practitioners of Environmental Health, urban studies and healthcare.



Ethics of Environmental Health makes a valuable and unique contribution to the emerging field of environmental health ethics. The book includes papers discussing important aspects of environmental health ethics, including risk assessment, precaution, distribution of health risks, ethical decision-making, and global and local issues. I recommend it highly.

David B. Resnik, National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, USA

The International Commission on Radiological Protection has long recognised the importance of ethics for the system of radiological protection. We are delighted to have played an active role in the completion of this book project and to give it our full endorsement.

Dr Claire Cousins, Chair of the International Commission on Radiological Protection

Important environmental health determinants go unacknowledged in policy and law. This volume discusses a number of these, intending to inspire a return to the awareness of the harms we condone, neglect, or allow others to perpetrate with impunity when we ignore the ethical dimensions of health research, policy and law.

Laura Westra, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada (Founder and Leader of the Global Ecological Integrity Group)

Table of Contents

Part 1 Insights from the Discussion of Related Topics 1.Global, Regional and Local Ecological Change: Ethical Aspects for Public HealthColin L. Soskolne 2. Environmental Ethics and Environmental Policies Marie Claire Cantone 3. Environmental Health Laws and Protection against Toxic Substances Carl Cranor 4. Ethics of Food, Health and Environment Michiel Korthals Part 2 Principles 5. Common Morality Principles for Environmental Health Friedo Zölzer 6. A critique of the limitations of Cost­Benefit Analysis in Environmental Economics and Health Policy Husseim Stuck 7. Bioethics, the Maximin Principle, and Future Generations Robin Attfield 8. Radioactive Waste: Some Considerations on Intergenerational Equity Christian Streffer Part 3 Decision Making on Environmental Health Problems 9. The Phenomenology of Environmental Health Risk: Vulnerability to Modern Technological Risk, Alienation, and Risk Politics Mark Coeckelbergh 10. Discourse Approaches in Environmental Health EthicsJiří Šimek 11. Taking Civil Rights Seriously in Post-Fukushima Japan Michio Miyasaka 12. Bridging the Gap between Public Acceptance and Ethical Acceptability: Multinational Nuclear Waste Repositories Behnam Taebi 13. Better Living (in a Complex World) - An Ethics of Care for our Modern Co-Existence Gaston Meskens Part 4 Ethics of Radiological Protection 14. Recent Reflections on the Ethical Basis of the System of Radiological Protection Christopher Clement 15. Ethical Questions of Remediation in case of Radioactive Contamination Deborah Oughton 16. The Need for Consistency in Dealing with Individual Sensitivity to Workplace Hazards Christopher J. Kalman 17. Considerations on Risk-Benefit Analyses in Medical Radiation Usage Jürgen Kiefer Conclusions and recommendations

About the Editors

Friedo Zölzer is Head of the Department of Radiology, Toxicology and Civil Protection at the University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic.

Gaston Meskens works part-time with the Centre for Ethics and Value Inquiry of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at the University of Ghent, Belgium and with the Science and Technology Studies group of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK-CEN, Belgium.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Environment and Health

The study of the impact of environmental change on human health has rapidly gained momentum in recent years, and an increasing number of scholars are now turning their attention to this issue. Reflecting the development of this emerging body of work, the Routledge Studies in Environment and Health series is dedicated to supporting this growing area with cutting edge interdisciplinary research targeted at a global audience. The books in this series cover key issues such as climate change, urbanisation, waste management, water quality, environmental degradation and pollution, and examine the ways in which these factors impact human health from a social, economic and political perspective.

Comprising edited collections, co-authored volumes and single author monographs, this innovative series provides an invaluable resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, scholars, policy makers and practitioners with an interest in this new and important field of study.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please contact Annabelle Harris at [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy