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Your Environment. Your Health.

Environmental Health Disparities and Environmental Justice

Environmental factors are fundamental determinants of our health and well-being. Environmental factors can also lead to disease and health disparities when the environments where people live, work, learn and play are toxic, burdened by chemicals, and social inequities. These social inequities, often referred to as social determinants of health (SDOH), include the complex relationships between genes and the environment, individual behaviors, access to health services, socioeconomic status, literacy levels, and legislative policies. Disparities exist when health outcomes differ between populations based on the extent of environmental risk factors and SDOH.

In the United States, people of color, low-income communities, and tribal populations have been, and continue to be, disproportionately exposed to environmental conditions that can harm their health. Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. When environmental justice is achieved, environmental health disparities will be reduced.

Advancing Environmental Justice Cover Page

Reducing environmental health disparities and promoting environmental justice are long-standing goals of the NIEHS. To support these goals, over the past two decades, the NIEHS has supported numerous research programs, scientific conferences, and public health interventions. A report titled Advancing Environmental Justice(3MB) describes these efforts.

This report is the first to highlight the contributions to environmental justice by the NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training (DERT). It provides a brief history of the environmental justice movement, the role of and funding investments made by DERT, an analysis of those contributions, conclusions, and suggested next steps.

In addition, the Advancing Environmental Justice: Annotated Bibliography(695KB) was developed as a compendium to the report to provide researchers, communities, and stakeholders with more accessible information about key outcomes reported in environmental justice projects. The annotated bibliography lists and summarizes peer-reviewed research articles from several of the projects highlighted in the report.

Program Team

Sharon Beard
Sharon D. Beard, M.S.
Industrial Hygienist
Tel (919) 541-1863
Fax (301) 451-5595
beard1@niehs.nih.gov
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-14
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

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Symma Finn, Ph.D.
Symma Finn, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
Tel (919) 541-4258
symma.finn@nih.gov
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-04
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

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Delivery Instructions
Kimberly Ann Gray
Kimberly Gray, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
Tel (919) 541-0293
gray6@niehs.nih.gov
530 Davis Dr
Keystone Building
Durham, NC 27713

Delivery Instructions
Liam R. O'Fallon
Liam O'Fallon, M.A.
Program Analyst
Tel (919) 541-7733
Fax (919) 316-4606
ofallon@niehs.nih.gov
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-12
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

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Claudia Thompson
Claudia Thompson, Ph.D.
Chief, Susceptibility and Population Health Branch
Tel (919) 541-4638
Fax (919) 541-4937
thompso1@niehs.nih.gov
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-04
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

Delivery | Postal
Delivery Instructions

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