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date: 20 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of ethical issues related to the development of industrial chemicals. While they do contribute to advancements in agriculture, medicine, transportation, hygiene, and human leisure, these chemicals can concomitantly pose serious threats to human and environmental health. The chapter examines the public health cost-benefit of environmental chemicals and the regulatory frameworks for human health protection in various countries, focusing on evidence-based decision-making, risk analysis, a precautionary approach, and international consensus. Specific ethical concerns discussed relate to the impacts and lasting effects of pesticides, the influence of economic stability and profit derived from industrial chemicals, conflicts between public health priorities and environmental protections, and inequities and injustices in the distribution of risks and burdens associated with industrial chemicals.

Keywords: industrial chemicals, pesticides, public health, environmental health, risk analysis, precautionary principle, post-anthropocentric ethics, inequities, public health ethics

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