Issue Date: September 12, 2011
Health Impacts Urged In Policy Decisions
A National Research Council committee is urging that greater consideration be given to the health impacts of major policy decisions and programs. NRC maintains that adding health impact assessments (HIAs) to reviews like environmental impact statements would enhance the public’s health and well-being. The view is based on evidence that policies not recognized as affecting health are now believed to have important health consequences. The report cites policies on the location of housing, public transportation, land use, agricultural practices, and the location of industry as having health effects. Although it recognizes that challenges do exist, the committee concludes that including HIAs into laws like the National Environmental Policy Act would advance the goal of improving public health.
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