Much of the scientific work on environmental health research has come from the clinical and biophysical sciences. Yet contributions are being made from the social sciences with respect to economic change, distributional equities, political will, public perceptions and the social geographical challenges of the human health-environments linkages. Offering the first comprehensive and cohesive summary of the input from social science to this field, this book focuses on how humans theorize their relationships to the environment with respect to health and how these ideas are mediated through an evaluation of risk and hazards. Most work on risk has focused primarily on environmental problems. This book extends and synthesizes these works for the field of human health, treating social, economic, cultural and political context as vital. Bringing disparate literatures from across several disciplines together with their own applied research and experience, John Eyles and Jamie Baxter deal with scientific uncertainty in the everyday issues raised and question how social theories and models of the way the world works can contribute to understanding these uncertainties. This book is essential reading for those studying and researching in the fields of health geography and environmental studies as well as environmental sociology, social and applied anthropology, environmental psychology and environmental politics.
John Eyles is a Distinguished University Professor at McMaster University, Canada. Based in Geography and Earth Sciences, he holds appointments in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Sociology and the Centre for Health Economics and Policy analysis. His main research interests lie in environmental influences on human health and access to health care resources within a policy context. He has pursued that latter interest through a National Research Foundation South African Research Chair in Health Policy and Systems in the Centre for Health Policy, School of Public Health, University of Witwatersrand, where he is a Distinguished Research Professor. Jamie Baxter is Professor in the Department of Geography at Western University, Canada. His research interests include: the social construction of risks from technological hazards, community responses to hazards, environment and health, noxious facility siting, and social science research methodology.
1. Quantitative Environmental Health 2. Uncertainty, Social Science and the Role of Theory 3. How certain is the cost or benefit? Can it be made safe? 4. Is it likely to happen? 5. Risk is Everywhere 6. Is the risk reversible? 7. Delayed Risk, Exposures and Health Outcomes 8. Who suffers most and what can be done? 9. Evaluating Environmental Risks to Health 10. And more of the same?