Environmental Standard Setting and Children’s Health (May 2000)

CAPE advocates for laws, standards and policies that will promote health through the protection of the environment and the prevention of environmental degradation. The organization works to strengthen regulation in Canada at federal, provincial and municipal levels, believing that a strong regulatory framework is necessary for ensuring a healthy environment.

In particular, CAPE pushes for standards that are strict enough to adequately protect children and other vulnerable segments of our population. CAPE believes that public policy decisions must always have an explicit concern for their health effects. Such policies should be ecological in perspective, should attempt to reduce inequalities in health, and should empower people by enhancing opportunities for participation, collaboration and self-determination.

CAPE’s particular mandate is to promote laws, regulations and other policies that promote environmental sustainability and ecosystem health. The ways that CAPE participates in the policy process include:

  • Analyzing environment and health research and determining its policy implications
  • Working with health professionals and other partners to develop informed positions on policy initiatives
  • Writing briefs or submissions and otherwise participating in the making of legislation or regulations
  • Initiating law reform meant to better protect the environment and human health
  • Informing the media of CAPE’s positions on policy and regulatory issues
  • Promoting healthy and environmentally sustainable policy options to elected representatives and other policy makers

CAPE participated in the writing of Environmental Standard Setting and Children’s Health by the Canadian Environmental Law Association and the Ontario College of Family Physicians. The 400-page report looks at the adequacy of the standard-setting process for protecting the health of children in Canada and includes a detailed review of research into the greater susceptibility and exposure of children to environmental contaminants.

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