Policy and science in children's health and environment: Recommendations from the PINCHE project.
SourceActa Paediatrica, 95, 453, (2006), pp. 114-119
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectEBP 3: Effective Primary Care and Public Health
Background: Policy recommendations result from the discussions and analysis of the present situation in environment and health. Such analysis was performed in PINCHE. This led to recommendations based on the scientific literature. In the field of children's environmental health the policy process will follow more or less fixed rules, but this process is still at an early level of development. The link between science and policy still faces many challenges. Scientific assessment of environmental risk must recognize and tackle the problems of data sets, variability of human and environmental systems, the range, spatial and temporal diffusion of potential health effects and many biases and confounding factors. Results: The PINCHE network recommends a general improvement of the supporting scientific fields in environment and health. Assessments from epidemiology or toxicology should play a key role in influencing science-policy decisions in programmes that are intended to inform the public policy process. Scientific committees at a local level could play a role. The relation between health and environment needs to be better incorporated in training and education. There is a need for harmonization of data production and use. The priorities in PINCHE focus on the most important issues. A classification of low, medium or high priority for action was used to describe a range of different environmental stressors.Conclusions: PINCHE provided recommendations to reduce exposure for children. Exposure reduction is not always linked to improved health in the short term, but it will reduce the body burden of accumulating chemicals in children. A strategic choice is reduction of exposure of children to compounds by changing production techniques or by increasing the distance of child specific settings to sources. The contribution of all players in the production, distribution and use of scientific knowledge in the field of children's environmental health is necessary.
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