Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Implementing The Precautionary Principle

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Carolyn Raffensperger, Joel A. Tickner, Joel Tickner
Island Press, 1999 - Health & Fitness - 385 pages
When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. This idea, known as the "Precautionary Principle," is seen by environmentalists and public health experts as the key to protecting ecological and human health.In January 1998, the Science and Environmmental Health Network convened an international group of scientists, researchers, environmentalists, academics, and labor representatives to discuss ways of incorporating the precautionary approach into environmental and public health decision-making. Known as the Wingspread Conference on Implementing the Precautionary Principle, the workshop focused on understanding the contexts under which the principle developed, its basis, and how it could be implemented. Protecting Public Health and the Environment is an outgrowth of that conference. The book: describes the history, specific content, and scientific and philosophical foundations of the principle of precautionary action explains the functions of the principle in activities as diverse as agriculture and manufacturing explains how to know when precautionary action is needed and who decides what action will (or will not) be taken attempts to show how the burden of proof of environmental harm can be shifted to proponents of a potentially hazardous activity provides specific structures and mechanisms for implementing the precautionary principl. Throughout, contributors focus on the difficult questions of implementation and fundamental change required to support a more precautionary approach to environmental and public health hazards. Among the contributors are David Ozonoff, Nicholas Ashford, Ted Schettler, Robert Costanza, Ken Geiser, and Anderw Jordan.Public health professionals and academics, policymakers, environmental lawyers, sustainable agriculture proponents, economists, and environmental activists will find the book an enlightening and thought-provoking guide to a new way of thinking about ecosystem and public health protection.
 

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Contents

TO FORESEE AND TO FORESTALL
1
AN OVERVIEW OF THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE
13
THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE IN CONTEMPORARY ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND POLITICS
15
THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE IN PRACTICE A MANDATE FOR ANTICIPATORY PREVENTATIVE ACTION
36
THE PRECAUTIONARY APPROACH TO CHEMICALS MANAGEMENT A SWEDISH PERSPECTIVE
51
LAW AND THEORY
71
ASYMMETRIC INFORMATION THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE AND BURDENS OF PROOF
74
THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE AS A SCREENING DEVICE
100
A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE USE OF THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE IN LAW
198
ALTERNATIVES ASSESSMENT PART OF OPERAHONALIZING AND INSTITUTIONALIZING THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE
207
ENVIRONMENTAL BONDS IMPLEMENTING THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE IN ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
220
THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE AND CORPORATE DISCLOSURE
241
PRACTICING THE PRINCIPLE
252
HOW MUCH INFORMATION DO WE NEED BEFORE EXERCISING PRECAUTION?
266
THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE IN ACTION
277
CAN WE SAY YES TO AGRICULTURE USING THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE A FARMERS PERSPECTIVE
279

PRECAUTIONARY SCIENCE
106
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF PRECAUTION
123
PRECAUTION AND RESPECT
148
INTEGRATING PRECAUTION INTO POLICY
159
A MAP TOWARD PRECAUTIONARY DECISION MAKING
162
APPLYING THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE IN PRACTICE NATURAL HERITAGE CONSERVATION IN SCOTLAND
187
PRECAUTIONARY ACTION NOT TAKEN CORPORATE STRUCTURE AND THE CASE STUDY OF TETRAETHYL LEAD IN THE USA
294
MANGANESE IN GASOLINE A CASE STUDY OF THE NEED FOR PRECAUTIONARY ACTION
309
CLEANER PRODUCTION AND THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE
323
THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE APPLICATION TO POLICIES REGARDING ENDOCRINEDISRUPTING CHEMICALS
337
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Carolyn Raffensperger is coordinator for the Science and Environmental Health Network, a national consortium of environmental groups dedicated to the use of science to protect the environment and public health based in Windsor, North Dakota. Joel Tickner is research associate at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and has served as advisor to numerous environmental organizations. Contributors Ken Geiser Wes Jackson Carolyn Raffensperger Joel Tickner Andrew Jordan Timothy O'Riordan David Santillo Paul Johnston Ruth Stringer Bo Wahlstrom Carl Cranor David Ozonoff Katherine Barrett Michael M'Gonigle Anita Bernstein Dominic Counsell Nicholas Ashford Mary O'Brien Laura Cornwell Robert Costanza Sanford Lewis Richard Sclove Madeleine Scammell Gordon Durnil Fred Kirschenmann Peter Montague Ted Schettler Peter deFur

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