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Scientific identification of emerging environmental health risks : Report in the context of an early warning approach from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

Wetenschappelijke signalering milieugezondheidsrisico's. : Rapportage in het kader van de brede maatschappelijke signalering van het Ministerie van IenM

Synopsis

Emerging risks in the domain of environment and health mainly concern new insights on already known chemical, biological or physical risk factors. In addition, various social, technological, environmental and other developments are identified that may lead to new environmental health risks. These signals are described in this RIVM report on emerging environmental health risks.

Better knowledge and information exchange needed: This study points out that many (inter)national activities are already undertaken to identify emerging environmental health risks. To prevent emerging risks to be identified too late or not at all, it is important to improve the knowledge and in-formation exchange between international and national bodies. Furthermore, the interaction between science, policy and society in the framework of risk identifi-cation and assessment could also benefit from a better information exchange.

Multidisciplinary assessment team recommended: RIVM recommends to conduct a more detailed assessment and prioritisation of the signals for the emerging environmental health risks that are described in this report. A multidisciplinary team of experts from various social groups and an 'umbrella' advisory group on emerging risks could play a part in that.

Development of an early warning approach on emerging environmental health risks: The research was commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Envi-ronment (IenM). IenM aims to identify early warnings for emerging environmen-tal health risks in a structured way. For this, different social groups (non-governmental organizations, industry and scientific community) were invited to summarize what they currently consider as important emerging environmental health risks. RIVM is responsible for the scientific perspective.
 

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