The 'environmental justice' movement presses for studies of links among poverty, exposure to toxins, and disease.
A collaborative effort is under way to assess the legacy of environmental pollution that falls upon the poor. An Institute of Medicine (IoM) committee recently completed site visits as part of its 18-month study that will evaluate the research, educational, and health policy needs required to bring "environmental justice" to impoverished and minority communities. Environmental justice involves seeking remedies for health problems that advocates say disproportionately affect poor and minority populations living in industrial or urban areas. Funding support for the IoM study is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Institutes of Health. The undertaking is one of several recent efforts to investigate issues related to environmental justice. In the meantime, communities have taken matters into their...

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