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Environmental Justice

Environmental justice is the fair treatment of all people with respect to the development, adoption, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Environmental justice is the right to a safe, healthy, productive, and sustainable environment, where "environment" is considered in its totality to include the ecological, physical, social, political, aesthetic, and economic environment.


Environmental justice addresses the disproportionate environmental risks borne by low-income communities and communities of color resulting from poor housing stock, poor nutrition, lack of access to healthcare, unemployment, underemployment, and employment in the most hazardous jobs.

In the Spotlight

A presentation by Astrid Newell; MD, Linn Gould; MS, MPH, and Liz Mogford; PhD, MPH, at the 2010 Washington State Joint Conference on Health was shared with NACCHO's LHD National Coalition for Health Equity. The presentation is available in slide format as well as PDF for download. Please click on the more link to access the presentation.

For more information on the LHD National Coalition for Health Equity, please visit

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry created the National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures "to develop an action agenda that can help government agencies and other organizations strengthen their efforts to protect the public from harmful chemical exposures." To this effort, NACCHO contributed the report National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures: Local Public Health Perspectives. The report presents barriers and successes that local health departments (LHDs) have encountered in addressing chemical exposures as well as LHD recommendations for improving policies and practices regarding chemical exposures. More »

National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures
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The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and CDC's National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) have completed the National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures by working with government, non-governmental agencies, business, industry, and members of the public to create an action agenda. The action agenda outlines how the United States can meet public health goals and achieve the NCEH/ATSDR vision to use and manage chemicals in ways that are safe and healthy for all people. The goals of the National Conversation will be accomplished by creating a well-informed public and healthcare provider network, involving the public in government decisions, and encouraging partnerships among key groups and agencies. More »