Cover Image

Evolution of public participation in the assessment and management of environmental health risks: a brief history of developments in the United States

Ken Sexton
  • Ken Sexton
    University of Texas School of Public Health, Brownsville, TX, United States | ken.sexton@uth.tmc.edu

Abstract

In the United States, the risk assessment − risk management paradigm that underpins federal decisions about environmental health risks was first established in 1983. In the beginning, the importance of public participation was not explicitly recognized within the paradigm. Over time, however, it has become evident that not only must risk-based decisions be founded on the best available scientific knowledge and understanding, but also that they must take account of the knowledge, values, and preferences of interested and affected parties, including community members, business people, and environmental advocates. This article examines the gradually expanding role of public participation in risk-based decision making in the United States, and traces its evolution from a peripheral issue labeled as an external pressure to an integral element of the 21st century risk assessment − risk management paradigm. Today, and into the foreseeable future, public participation and stakeholder involvement are intrinsic features of the emerging American regulatory landscape, which emphasizes collaborative approaches for achieving cooperative and cost-effective solutions to complicated and often controversial environmental health problems.

Keywords

public involvement, public participation, risk assessment, risk management, risk paradigm, stakeholder involvement

Full Text:

PDF
HTML
Submitted: 2013-05-13 18:33:46
Published: 2013-09-05 23:02:43
Search for citations in Google Scholar
Related articles: Google Scholar
Abstract views:
3245

Views:
PDF
415
HTML
1408


Copyright (c) 2013 Ken Sexton

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
 
© PAGEPress 2008-2017     -     PAGEPress is a registered trademark property of PAGEPress srl, Italy.     -     VAT: IT02125780185