Environmental Protection

March 11 Meeting to Finalize National Conversation Action Agenda

The public meeting in Washington, D.C., will wrap up this phase of the project to strengthen the nation's approach to protecting the public's health from harmful chemical exposures.

The final scheduled meeting of the National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures Leadership Council will take place March 11, with the all-day public meeting at the Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C., devoted to finalizing the action agenda that has been in the works since last summer.

Comments were accepted from Dec. 21, 2010, to Jan. 21, 2011. Available here, they cite submitters' concerns about many issues, including radon, environmental effects from hydraulic fracturing used in natural gas drilling, children's chemical exposures, warnings labels and material data sheets, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and more.

Six work groups, including a Chemical Emergencies work group, have held several meetings. CDC and ATSDR created a toolkit and shared information about the project on a Facebook site. Three associations are partners in the effort: the American Public Health Association; the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; and the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

The conversation has these eight goals:

  • Collect information about chemical use, people who are exposed, and the levels at which they are exposed.
  • Understand how chemicals affect people's health.
  • Use policies and practices that tell us about risks, how to reduce harmful exposures, and how to create and use safe chemicals.
  • Prevent, prepare for, and respond to chemical emergencies.
  • Protect all communities from harmful chemical exposures.
  • Create a well-informed public and health care provider network to help people understand chemical exposure risks.
  • Involve the public in government decision-making.
  • Encourage teamwork among partner groups and agencies.

For information about attending the meeting or to listen to the meeting by phone, contact nationalconversation@cdc.gov or Julie Fishman at 770.488.0629.

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