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Late Lessons from Early Warnings: A retrospective look at learning about precaution

On 16 April HEAL is co-hosting the first in a series of CHE Partnership Calls which will focus on Late Lessons from Early Warnings: A retrospective look at learning about precaution. Issues for discussion include precautionary action, coping with multi-causal hazards and taking public health decisions under conditions of uncertainty.

Lisette van Vliet, Senior Policy Advisor on Chemicals and Chronic Disease Prevention at HEAL will be co-hosting this Partnership Call with the US based Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE). The call will be moderated by Michael Lerner, President of Commonweal, a non-profit health and environmental research institute contributing to a safer world for people and all life.

Today much of the discussion in Europe about when to regulate hazardous chemicals links to the issue of when to take precautionary action, before there is enough certainty about forthcoming harms to qualify as preventive action. The European Environmental Agency (EEA) released the second volume of Late Lessons from Early Warnings earlier this year, which follows from the first publication released in 2001 where many of the cases continue to be valid today.

During the first part of the call David Gee from the EEA, a leading expert on the precautionary principle, and initiator and co-author of both volumes, will discuss the first volume of Late Lessons and look at how we can learn from historical case of environmental and health disasters. The discussions will then move on to looking at the case studies on hazardous chemicals (Benzene, Asbestos, PCBs and DES). The distilled twelve late lessons from the case studies will be covered in the latter part of the call.

The call will take place on Tuesday 16 April at 09h Pacific / 12h Eastern / 17h CET.

More information available here

Last updated on 10 April 2013

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