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Annu Rev Public Health. 1997;18:245-59.

Perspectives on the place of environmental health and protection in public health and public health agencies.

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Albuquerque Environmental Health Department, New Mexico 87103, USA.


The field of environmental health and protection and the entire field of public health have repeatedly found themselves isolated from one another, unable to articulate the definition, mission, and goals of public health and the essential role for environmental health and protection in the provision of a healthy ecological and human environment. Environmental agencies often forget that they, too, are public health agencies; public health agencies that have had environmental health functions have divided and abdicated their environmental responsibilities, considering these to be "regulatory" rather than public health. This article reviews the history of environmental health and protection, its involvement within the field of public health, its eventual separation from other public health programs with resulting benefits and consequences, and what the future may hold for environmental health and protection activities as well as for the broader scope of public health of which these activities are a part.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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