Publication

Health and the Environment in the Southeastern United States: Rebuilding the Unity. Workshop Summary


Released:

Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

At a workshop sponsored by the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine in June 2001, titled Rebuilding the Unity of Health and the Environment in the Southeastern United States, representatives from a variety of fields worked together to address issues of health and environment specific to the southeastern region. This workshop, one in a series of regional workshops sponsored by the Roundtable, was initiated based on the view that for a long time the world of environment, environmental regulation, environmental control, and engineering had moved in one direction, while the world of health had moved in another.

The southeastern United States, which includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky, was chosen to be the site of the first regional workshop. This workshop summary captures the four main themes that were explored:

  1. environmental and individual health are intrinsically intertwined;
  2. traditional methods of ensuring environmental health protection, such as regulations, should be balanced by more cooperative approaches to problem solving;
  3. environmental health efforts should be holistic and interdisciplinary; and
  4. technological advances, along with coordinated action across educational, business, social, and political spheres, offer great hope for protecting environmental health.

This workshop, one in a series of regional workshops sponsored by the Roundtable, was initiated based on the view that for a long time the world of environment, environmental regulation, environmental control, and engineering had moved in one direction, while the world of health had moved in another.