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New and emerging environmental hazards and situations 

New and emerging environmental hazards and situations

Chapter:
New and emerging environmental hazards and situations
Author(s):

Alec Dobney

and Greg Hodgson

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198745471.003.0027
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date: 28 April 2017

Environmental public health scientists and health protection practitioners are constantly challenged to respond to new or poorly understood hazards. Practitioners might also be required to address well-characterized hazards that have either increased in magnitude or re-emerged in different situations. Developing technological advances and new and emerging industrial processes (such as fracking, nanotechnology, shale gas, waste fires) can raise difficult questions for the public health practitioner, especially where research and health-related evidence is lacking. In these cases, public health science has a key role in undertaking and communicating risks and in providing the most accurate available scientific evidence and public health advice. The field of environmental public health is crowded with complex problems demanding our attention. It is impossible to devote sufficient clinical, research, and advocacy energies to all of these problems at once. Clinicians, public health professionals, and environmental public health scientists have to choose which health issues take priority.

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