Challenges in Environmental Health Research and Sustainability in a Less Developed Country: a Case Study From Jordan

  • Mohammad I. AhmadEmail author
  • Jabour Daradkeh
  • Mazen Malkawi
  • Wael K. Al Delaimy
Ethics and Policy (M Tondel, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Ethics and Policy


Purpose of Review

Environmental health research covers many aspects of the complex natural world and how environmental hazards, mainly caused by human activities, can affect population health. Researchers in this field have investigated environmental risks dose or exposure-response relationship, challenged hypotheses and interpreted data and results to solve problems. Researchers investigating environmental issues support the concept of environmental justice (EJ) and understand that they bear more responsibilities because they work to influence the policymakers’ decisions in order to minimise hazardous exposure on populations. The environmental justice term has been widely used to describe unequal exposure of anthropogenic pollution or environmentally hazardous exposure to a group of people based on race, colour, national origin or income. The term has been defined and disseminated in many countries through governmental and non-governmental organisations. In Jordan, the government has carried the responsibilities to reduce the disproportionate exposure to environmental pollution between citizens and to promote the concepts of EJ. This review has highlighted the role of non-governmental organisations and the laws and regulations that prohibit assault to the environment and ensure the compliance of private and public organisations to minimise the effect of the undesirable environmental actions. Moreover, it addressed and discussed different possible sources of pollution and areas of heavy hazards exposure.

Recent Findings

In this review, we highlighted the main causes of lack of research on the EJ in Jordan and the effect of income and ethnicity background.


We also recommended applying the responsible conduct of research principles and guidelines to commence researches that can affect policymakers in this field in Jordan.


Arab world Environmental research Ethics Jordan Environmental justice 



Mr. Ahmad is a participant in the Research Ethics Education Program in Jordan supported by grant #5R25TW010026-02 from the Fogarty International Centre of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


The content and opinions are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Fogarty International Centre or the U.S. National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad I. Ahmad
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jabour Daradkeh
    • 2
  • Mazen Malkawi
    • 3
  • Wael K. Al Delaimy
    • 4
  1. 1.Research and Innovation CentreThe Jordanian Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company (PLC)AmmanJordan
  2. 2.Monitoring and Evaluation DirectorateMinistry of EnvironmentAmmanJordan
  3. 3.The Centre for Environmental Health Action (CEHA)WHOAmmanJordan
  4. 4.Division of Global Health, Department of Family Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of California San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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