Abstract and Keywords
This chapter provides an overview of the ethics of environmental health, and it introduces five chapters in the related section of The Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics. A wide range of ethical issues arises in managing the relationship between human health and the environment, including regulation of toxic substances, air and water pollution, waste management, agriculture, the built environment, occupational health, energy production and use, environmental justice, population control, and climate change. The values at stake in environmental health ethics include those usually mentioned in ethical debates in biomedicine and public health, such as autonomy, social utility, and justice, as well as values that address environmental concerns, such as animal welfare, stewardship of biological resources, and sustainability. Environmental health ethics, therefore, stands at the crossroads of several disciplines, including public health ethics, environmental ethics, biomedical ethics, and business ethics.
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