In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day today, the American Public Health Association (APHA) is recognizing the need to address several urgent environmental health concerns currently facing our nation, according to an APHA press release.

“Though we have made significant strides to limit the health risks associated with today’s changing environment, the American public still remains vulnerable to a growing number of environmental health issues such as air and water pollution, climate change and food safety outbreaks,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “As countries around the world commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day today, we must seize the opportunity to bolster efforts to protect the public from environmental health hazards.”

Among APHA’s top environmental health concerns are:
  • Climate change and health — APHA is strongly advocating for public health provisions in comprehensive climate change legislation expected to be introduced in the Senate later this month that would ensure that health professionals are equipped with preparedness resources desperately needed at the federal, state and local levels and strengthen public health workforce expertise and capacity. Go here for more information about APHA’s climate change efforts.
  • Transportation Policy — APHA supports the reauthorization of the federal transportation law that would take steps to ensure that all communities benefit from a transportation system that provides equitable access to mass transit, safe sidewalks, streets, and playgrounds, health services, jobs and opportunities for social networking, affordable and secure housing, nutritious food, clean air and water. To learn more about the intersection of public health and transportation go here.
  • Air quality — APHA recently submitted a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency along with 17 other public health organizations urging it adopt stronger, more protective standards to safeguard public health from ground-level ozone. Go here for a full copy of the letter.
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