Environment and health in Europe: status and perspectives
The status and perspectives of environment and health in the Member States of the WHO Regional Office for Europe is the subject of discussion at the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, entitled ‘Better health. Better environment. Sustainable choices’. Well-known risk factors, such as a lack of access to safe water and sanitation or air pollution, continue to adversely impact Europeans’ health, as do other, less well-known factors, such as improper waste management, contaminated sites, and countless dangerous chemicals. The global context for all of this is one which recognizes the severe deterioration of Earth’s biosphere and climate change, with far-reaching implications for the practice of environment and health and public health at large. Between countries, heterogeneity, in terms of environmental factors, health impacts, policies and governance, remains significant. However, Member Sates continue to share important common agendas on sustainable development, cities as key places for health, environmental health inequalities and other issues where coordinated international collaboration and action are necessary.